electrocution

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electrocution Death caused by the passage of an electric current through the body. The current may come from a low- or (more often) a high-voltage source, or from lightning. A major shock either causes chaotic disruption of the heartbeat (fibrillation) or stops the heart completely, in which case breathing also ceases. Severe burns may be visible where the current has entered the body and also at its point of exit. Electrocution is still used as a form of execution in some US states.

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electrocution execution by electricity. XIX. alt., after prec., of †electricution (XIX), f. electri(cal) (exe)cution; hence by back-formation †electricute, electrocute XIX.