kill

kill vb Kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute are comparable when meaning to deprive of life or to put to death.
Kill is so general that it merely states the fact and does not, except in special phrases (as "Thou shalt not kill"), suggest human agency or the means of death or the conditions attending the putting to death. Also, the object of the action may be not only a person or other living thing but also an inanimate or immaterial thing with qualities suggestive of life
{

kill snails in the garden

}
{

a boy killed by a fall

}
{

vegetation killed by frost

}
{

the president killed the project when he vetoed the bill making an appropriation for it

}
{

kill a friend's love by indifference

}
{

he believed at that time that the League of Nations was going to kill war, that the Labour Party were going to kill industrial inequity— Rose Macaulay

}
Slay implies killing by force or in wantonness; it is rare in spoken English, but it often occurs in written English where it may convey a dramatic quality whether in poetic or elevated writing or in journalese
{

though he slay me, yet will I trust in him— Job 13:15

}
{

the slain man has not yet been identified

}
In its extended uses slay usually suggests wanton or deliberate destruction or annihilation
{

to slay the reverence living in the minds of men— Shelley

}
{

never had she greatly loved before; never would she greatly love again; and the great love she now had she was slayingRose Macaulay

}
Murder definitely implies a motive and, often, premeditation and imputes to the act a criminal character; it is the exact word to use in reference to one person killing another either in passion or in cold blood
{

Macbeth murdered Duncan

}
{

Thomas à Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his own cathedral

}
It is sometimes used in place of kill as more expressive or in place of slay as more brutally direct and condemnatory, both in literal and extended use
{

Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more— Shak.

}
{

the language of strategy and politics is designed ... to make it appear as though wars were not fought by individuals drilled to murder one another in cold blood— Huxley

}
Assassinate implies murder especially of a person in governmental or political power by stealth or treachery and often by an agent or hireling of an opposition. It usually suggests an attempt to get rid of a person who is believed to be an obstacle to the safety of a tyrant, the welfare of a people, the liberty of a nation, or the success of a design
{

Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday

}
{

at least two attempts were made to assassinate William of Orange

}
Dispatch also suggests an attempt to get rid of a person by killing him, but it is far more colorless than assassinate
{

and the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords— Ezek 23:47

}
Because it nearly always implies taking direct means of killing (as by shooting or stabbing) and so sometimes connotes expedition or speed in killing or in ending suffering, it is applicable, as most of the other terms are not, to killing (as of a sick or injured animal) for humane reasons
{

the policeman dispatched the rabid dog with a single shot

}
Often dispatch is merely a euphemism for another of the terms of this group when quick killing or a sudden end is implied
{

reached up, caught Wright by the coat, . . . and at one stab dispatched him— Amer. Guide Series: La.

}
Execute is the term for putting to death one who has been condemned to such a fate by a legal or military process, or sometimes by summary action of a group
{

execute a convicted assassin

}

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kill — may refer to: Killing, to cause the death of an organism, or the act of doing so. The verb form may also be a general use metaphor, synonymous with to terminate or to finish Kill, a civil parish in Dublin, Ireland Kill (body of water), a creek, a …   Wikipedia

  • Kill — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda En Unix y los sistemas operativos tipo Unix, kill es un comando utilizado para enviar mensajes sencillos a los procesos ejecutándose en el sistema. Por defecto el mensaje que se envía es la señal de terminación… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kill — Kill, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Killed} (k[i^]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Killing}.] [OE. killen, kellen, cullen, to kill, strike; perh. the same word as cwellen, quellen, to kill (cf. {Quell}), or perh. rather akin to Icel. kolla to hit in the head, harm,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kill — Kill  unix утилита, посылающая сигнал процессу. Содержание 1 Синтаксис 2 Описание 3 Параметры 4 Ссылки …   Википедия

  • KILL — «KILL» Sencillo de MELL Formato CD Grabación 2008 Género(s) J Pop Duración 13:24 …   Wikipedia Español

  • kill — kill1 [kil] vt. [ME kullen, killen < ? OE * cyllan, special late phonetic development of cwellan, to kill: see QUELL] 1. to cause the death of; make die 2. a) to destroy the vital or active qualities of b) to destroy; put an end to; ruin …   English World dictionary

  • kill — ► VERB 1) cause the death of. 2) put an end to. 3) informal overwhelm with an emotion. 4) informal cause pain or anguish to. 5) pass (time). 6) stop (a computing process). 7) (in sport) make (the ball) stop …   English terms dictionary

  • Kill — ist: der Familienname von Angelika Kill (1917 2003), Angehörige des Ordens der Ursulinen und langjährige Leiterin der Ursulinenschule Fritzlar ein Familienname, insbesondere im amerikanischen Raum eine Stadt in County Kildare, Irland, siehe Kill… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kill — Kill, n. 1. The act of killing. There is none like to me! says the cub in the pride of his earliest kill. Kipling. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 2. An animal killed in the hunt, as by a beast of prey. If ye plunder his kill from a weaker, devour not all… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kill — Kill, n. [D. kil.] A channel or arm of the sea; a river; a stream; as, the channel between Staten Island and Bergen Neck is the Kill van Kull, or the Kills; used also in composition; as, Schuylkill, Catskill, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.