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Coined by Leo Alexander, American psychiatrist and neurologist, from Ancient Greek roots.


ktenology (uncountable)

  1. (rare) The science of putting people to death.
    • 1948, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (volume 108, page 348)
      The triumph of ktenology was reached in the development by Professor Dr. Heissmeyer, one of Dr. Gebhardt's associates at the SS hospital of Hohenlychen, of intravenous injections of a suspension of live tubercle bacilli []
    • 2004, P. Weindling, Nazi Medicine and the Nuremberg Trials
      On 21 and 22 January Alexander met Ivy to discuss the issue of ktenology.
    • 2009, Rita Joseph, Human Rights and the Unborn Child (page 99)
      Abortion—part of ktenology, the science of killing—not genuine health care