views updated May 17 2018

232. Killing

See also 112. DEATH .

a substance or preparation for killing mites or ticks.
a place of bloodshed, so called after the field purchased by Judas with the bribe he received for betraying Christ.
Rare. 1. the murder of one friend by another.
2. the killer of a friend.
a homicidal mania.
the killing of birds.
a substance for killing bacteria.
the act of decapitation; beheading or being beheaded. decoilator , n.
the act of hurling from a window, especially people.
1. the act of putting to death without pain a person incurably ill or suffering great pain; mercy killing.
2. an easy, painless death. euthanasic , adj.
1. the act of suicide.
2. a person who commits suicide.
1. the killing of ones brother.
2. a person who has killed his brother. fratricidal , adj.
a substance that kills fungi or retards the growth of spores.
the killing of an entire people or of a very large number of a people. genocidal , adj.
any substance for killing germs, especially bacteria. germicidal , adj.
1. the killing of a giant.
2. a person who kills giants.
1. a sacrifice of one hundred oxen at one time, as in ancient Greece.
2. any slaughter on a large scale; a massacre.
a substance for killing unwanted plant growth.
1. a burnt offering or sacrifice.
2. large-scale destruction by fire or other violent means.
1. a general term for murder; the killing of another human being.
2. the murderer of another. homicidal , adj.
a mania for murder.
the process of sacrificing, espeeially by flre. immolator , n.
1. the murder of infants.
2. a person who kills infants. infanticidal , adj.
a substance used for killing insects. insecticidal , adj.
the act of cutting a persons throat. See also 350. REMEDIES .
the process or act of pelting with stones, sometimes as a form of execution.
the killing of kangaroos.
the act of killing something for the purpose of sacrifice.
1. the killing of ones husband.
2. a person who has killed her husband. mariticidal , adj.
1. the killing of ones mother.
2. a person who has killed his mother. matricidal , adj.
a substance that kills microbes.
a substance for killing mites. miticidal , adj.
Obsolete, a killing or an act of killing.
1. the murder of a parent or close relative.
2. one who has killed a parent or close relative. parricidal , adj.
1. the killing of ones father.
2. a person who has killed his father. patricidal , adj.
any chemical substance used for killing pests, as insects, weeds, etc.
the murder of a king. regicide , n. regicidal , adj.
a substance that kills rodents.
a punishment in old Persia, in which criminals were imprisoned in a log or hollow tree. The head, arms, and legs of a victim were left exposed and smeared with honey to attract insects.
1. the killing of ones sister.
2. a person who has killed his sister. sororicidal , adj.
a substance or preparation used for killing sperm, used in contraception. spermicidal , adj.
1. the killing of oneself.
2. one who has killed himself. suicidal , adj.
1. the suicide of a Hindu widow by immolation on the funeral pyre of her husband.
2. a Hindu widow who died by suttee.
taeniacide, teniacide
an agent or preparation for killing tapeworms. taeniacidal, teniacidal , adj.
1. the killing of a tyrant.
2. the killer of a tyrant. tyrannicidal , adj.
1. the killing of ones wife.
2. a person who has killed his wife. uxoricidal , adj.
the killing of a prophet. vaticidal , adj.


views updated May 21 2018

killing Throughout the history of humankind, acts of killing have been used not only to regulate the lifespan, but also to place social value on particular kinds of bodies. While almost all civilizations have outlawed murder, certain forms of killing, like the murder of slaves and enemies, have been tolerated and indeed sanctioned by various societies at different historical moments.

Even before birth, the body may be killed through induced abortion and other types of feticide, such as stabbing the fetus in the womb. Although the abortion of nonviable fetuses is legal in most industrialized nations and is considered part of women's reproductive freedom, religious groups espousing fetal rights and the sacredness of human life contend that abortion is still murder. Shortly after birth, human life is also subject to termination through infanticide. Socially and legally reprehensible in many cultures today, infanticide was widely practised for eugenic purposes in ancient Greece and Rome, and, more recently, in Nazi Germany. In antiquity unhealthy, deformed, and sometimes normal, but female infants were abandoned or drowned, while in Nazi Germany defective infants were poisoned, gassed, or starved.

Over the course of the lifespan, an individual can become the victim of manifold other types of homicide (the killing of one human being by another). Acts of killing performed without malice, such as deaths resulting from drunk driving, or other accidents, are classified as manslaughter, whereas deaths stemming from intentional injuries are considered murder. To deter and punish deliberate homicides, many governments have instituted capital punishment, executing criminals who have transgressed the socially decreed boundaries of acceptable killing. Nonetheless, members of various groups have often enacted private or vigilante justice, in which they have created their own criteria and circumstances for killing. The history of homicide in the US, for example, contains numerous instances of vigilantism and group terrorism, ranging from outlaw justice on the antebellum frontier, to nineteenth-and early twentieth-century lynchings in the South, to present day inner-city gang warfare. More widespread and socially devastating than any form of vigilantism or individual homicide, however, is systematized, state-sanctioned warfare. With the shift away from politically and territorially based victories in the nineteenth century, modern warfare has made its chief objective the destruction of enemy bodies and resources. During the period of World War II, in the wake of the Nazi holocaust, the term genocide was introduced to describe the intentional, systematic slaughter of a racial or cultural group.

At the end of the lifespan, one way that the body may be killed or that natural death may be hastened is through euthanasia. Generally performed to avoid unnecessary or prolonged suffering, euthanasia can take the form of physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, or active euthanasia (sometimes known as ‘mercy killing’). Like infanticide, euthanasia was practised in Greek and Roman antiquity as well as in Nazi Germany to end the lives of the chronically sick and those deemed ‘lives not worth living’.

Christina Jarvis

See also eugenics; euthanasia; genocide; murder; war and the body.


views updated May 23 2018

killing killing field a place where a heavy loss of life has occurred, typically as the result of massacre or genocide during a time of warfare or violent civil unrest. The term is particularly associated with Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, where mass deportations from the towns to the countryside were followed by mass executions in what became known as the killing fields. It was with the release in 1984 of the film The Killing Fields that the phrase passed into the language.
killing no murder proverbial saying, mid 17th century; originally, the title of a pamphlet by Edward Sexby (d. 1658), which was an apology for tyrannicide and which was ironically dedicated to Oliver Cromwell. Captured and imprisoned, Sexby died in the Tower of London on 13 January 1658.

See also there are more ways of killing a cat.


views updated Jun 27 2018

kill·ing / ˈkiling/ • n. an act of causing death, esp. deliberately.• adj. causing death: [in comb.] weed-killing. ∎ inf. exhausting; unbearable: the suspense will be killing.PHRASES: make a killing have a great financial success: they're a safe investment, you can make a killing overnight.DERIVATIVES: kill·ing·ly adv.