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Decapitation   /dɪkˌæpɪtˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Decapitation

noun
1.
Execution by cutting off the victim's head.  Synonym: beheading.
2.
Killing by cutting off the head.  Synonym: beheading.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Decapitation" Quotes from Famous Books



... instance, not content with slaying his enemy, cuts off the right thumb of the corpse, so that the departed soul may be incapacitated from throwing a spear. Even the half-civilized Chinese prefer crucifixion to decapitation, that their souls may not wander headless about the spirit-world. [171] Thus we see how far removed from the Christian doctrine of souls is the primeval theory of the soul or other self that figures in dreamland. So grossly materialistic is the primitive conception ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... America that he wanted to die, and that the Shah of Persia wrote a letter to Uncle, all in his own writing, except the longest words, and said that he had ordered Uncle's speech on America to be printed and read aloud by all the schoolmasters in Persia under penalty of decapitation. Nearly all of ...
— The Hohenzollerns in America - With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and other impossibilities • Stephen Leacock

... illegible inscription[373]. He said that it had been in a convent adjoining, but was removed after the French came, and placed in its present situation; that he had seen the tomb opened at its removal; there were still some bones remaining, but no positive vestige of the decapitation. The equestrian statue[374] of which I have made mention in the third act as before that church is not, however, of a Faliero, but of some other now obsolete warrior, although of a later date. There were ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... all family names beginning with Gill-, may be from Gillian (see p. 46), or from Fr. Guillaume. A famous member of the latter family was Guillotin, the humanitarian doctor who urged the abolition of clumsy methods of decapitation. His name is a double diminutive, like Fr. diablotin, goblin. Leggatt is a variant of Lidgate, swing gate, and of Legate. Lovell is an affectionate diminutive or is for Old Fr. louvel, little wolf. It was also in Mid. English a dog's ...
— The Romance of Words (4th ed.) • Ernest Weekley

... punishments are as accurately proportioned as the cases will permit. One species of capital punishment has been ordained instead of that multitude of cruel and barbarous deaths which were marshalled in terrible array along the columns of the former code. This punishment is decapitation. The only exception to this is in the case of parricide, in which, previous to decapitation, the right hand is cut off; and in the punishment for high-treason, in which the prisoner is made to walk barefoot, and with a crape veil over his head ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... into this noiselessness came Ahab alone from his cabin. Taking a few turns on the quarter-deck, he paused to gaze over the side, then slowly getting into the main-chains he took Stubb's long spade—still remaining there after the whale's Decapitation—and striking it into the lower part of the half-suspended mass, placed its other end crutch-wise under one arm, and so stood leaning over with eyes ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... considered a common murderer. This provision was clearly a limitation of the law of revenge. These laws of Ieyasu also describe the old methods of punishing criminals, and then add: "Criminals are to be punished by branding, or beating, or tying up, and, in capital cases, by spearing or decapitation; but the old punishments of tearing to pieces and boiling to death are not to be used." Torture was finally legally abolished in Japan only ...
— Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic • Sidney L. Gulick

... 1813, pp. 6, 7. Cornelia Knight, in her Autobiography (1861, i. 227), notes that the frolic prince, the "Adonis of fifty," who was in a good humour, and "had given to Princess Charlotte the centre sapphire of Charles's crown," acted "the manner of decapitation on my shoulders." He had "forgotten" Cromwell, who, as Lord Auchinleck reminded Dr. Johnson, had "gart kings ken that they had a lith ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Vol. 7. - Poetry • George Gordon Byron

... the ground as a moor-hen scuppers across the water, the mechanics having assisted her initial progress by pushing the lower stays and then ducking under the planes, as she gathered way, and just missing decapitation. It's a way they have. She took a run for it, her engine humming like a top, and then rose, and gradually climbed the sky. Peter gazed at her wistfully. "And he promised to take me up some day," he ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... himself. Lancaster, not allowed to say a word in his defence, was at once sentenced to death as a rebel and a traitor. In consideration of his exalted rank, the grosser penalties of treason were commuted, as in the case of Gaveston, to simple decapitation. On the morning of March 22 Thomas was led out of his castle, clad in the garb of a penitent and mounted on a sorry steed. He was conducted to a little hill outside the walls. The crowd mocked at his sufferings and in scorn ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... Vaublanc.—Moore, "Journal during a Residence in France," I. 25 (Aug. 10). The impudence of the people in the galleries was intolerable. There was "a loud and universal peal of laughter from all the galleries" on the reading of a letter, in which a deputy wrote that he was threatened with decapitation.—" Fifty members were shouting at the same time; the most boisterous night I ever was witness to in the House of Commons was calmness itself ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... her fore foot; with her claws, however, sheathed, and not in anger, but in the way of philosophical inquiry and examination. To prevent her falling a victim to so laudable an exercise of her talents, I interposed in a moment with the hoe, and performed an act of decapitation, which though not immediately mortal proved so in the end. Had he slid into the passages, where it is dark, or had he, when in the yard, met with no interruption from the cat, and secreted himself in any of the outhouses, it is hardly possible but that some of the family must have been bitten; ...
— Cowper • Goldwin Smith

... the lid and propped it up with a short billiard-cue which fitted into a notch. All danger of sudden decapitation having been removed, I ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, May 27, 1914 • Various

... would be a bonne-bouche for my men; therefore we towed it to the shore. It was a fine monster, about sixteen feet long; and although it had appeared dead, it bit furiously at a thick male bamboo which I ran into its mouth to prevent it from snapping during the process of decapitation. The natives regarded my men with disgust as they cut huge lumps of the choicest morsels and stowed them in the canoes; this did not occupy more than a quarter of an hour, and hurrying on board, we continued our voyage, well ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... little girl, Minnie. She had promised the head this year. Next Christmas they would buy a body for it. Molly Brandeis's quick sympathy went out to the little girl who was to lavish her mother-love on a doll's head for a whole year. She saw the head, in ghastly decapitation, staring stiffly out from the cushions of the chill and funereal parlor sofa, and the small Minnie peering in to feast her eyes upon its blond and ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... H. V. Alaeddin promises, "if I fail to find and fetch the Princess, I will myself cut off my head and cast it before the throne." Hindus are adepts in suicide and this self- decapitation, which sounds absurd further West, ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... fail us to tell how eager spirits not only groped after God, but sought the living Christ—though often this meant to them imprisonment, suicide enforced by the law, or decapitation. Yet over all Japan, long before the broad pennant of Perry was mirrored on the waters of Yedo Bay, there were here and there masses of leavened opinion, spots of kindled light, and fields upon which the tender green sprouts of new ideas could be detected. To-day, ...
— The Religions of Japan - From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji • William Elliot Griffis

... cause any other public scandal, shall be punished with the gallows, and their estates, where the law of the province permit it, confiscated; but if they abjure their errors, their punishment shall be commuted into decapitation with the sword, and their effects shall be preserved to their families." A cruel snare for parental affection! Less grievous heretics, it was further enacted, shall, if penitent, be pardoned; and if ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... object of their solicitude. They now endeavored to obtain a minor grace. They represented that in the Netherlands, and in Germany, there was an important difference in the public mind as to the mode of inflicting the punishment of death upon persons of quality. That decapitation had no influence on the fortunes of the family of the executed, but that the punishment of the wheel was such an infamy, that the uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters of the criminal, and his whole ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... taken in popular life by the scenes of the Greve. It was the theatre of the day. The gibbet and the wheel did their work almost periodically, and people looked on while poor wretches writhed in slow agony all day long. Sometimes the programme was varied by decapitation and even by the stake. Torture had its legends and its heroes—the everyday talk of the generation which, having begun by seeing Damiens torn by red-hot pincers, was to end by rending Foulon limb from limb." ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... Though I was delighted to re-encounter my old friend Du Chaylu. Old Murat is perhaps your high-water mark; 'tis excellently human, cheerful and real. Do it again. Madame de Maintenon struck me as quite good. Have you any document for the decapitation? It sounds steepish. The devil of all that first part is that you see old Dumas; yet your Louis XIV. is distinctly good. I am much interested with this book, which fulfils a good deal, and promises ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... there was always one or two beef cattle to kill. Sheep had also to be slaughtered, with the turkeys, geese and ducks, which had been getting ready for decapitation. After home wants were provided for, the rest were sent ...
— Life in Canada Fifty Years Ago • Canniff Haight

... place so quickly that Jack had barely jerked his Mauser pistol from his holster when all was ready for the decapitation of their guide. But as the gleaming blade flashed above the head of the little man in blue, Jack laid the muzzle true for his ribs and pulled the trigger. The heavy bullet tore its way through the headsman's body, and with a wild cry he pitched forward on the captive's prostrate form. ...
— Jack Haydon's Quest • John Finnemore

... successful. When a pair of mantis were put together in a glass they fought viciously, the fight ending with the decapitation of the male and his being eaten by ...
— Scientific American, Volume XLIII., No. 25, December 18, 1880 • Various

... Chamberlain assured her that the Astrologer Royal was not only absent, but incapable of such a liberty; it really was the boar's head that had spoken, as animals in Maerchenland would on rare occasions—even after suffering decapitation. ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... will be enough to make him loosen his coils!" cried Tom, as he fired again, and such was the killing power of the electric bullets that the snake, though an immense one, and one that short of decapitation could have received many injuries without losing power, seemed ...
— Tom Swift in the Land of Wonders - or, The Underground Search for the Idol of Gold • Victor Appleton

... permitted to inform him, truly and fully, of what had passed at Paris. But at night, the Duke de Liancourt forced his way into the King's bed-chamber, and obliged him to hear a full and animated detail of the disasters of the day in Paris. He went to bed fearfully impressed. The decapitation of De Launay worked powerfully, through the night, on the whole Aristocratical party; insomuch, that in the morning, those of the greatest influence on the Count d'Artois, represented to him the absolute necessity, that the King should give up every thing to the Assembly. This according ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... numerous and happy; they have not to register their households, or attend to any magistrates and their rules; only those who cultivate the royal land have to pay (a portion of) the grain from it. If they want to go, they go; if they want to stay on, they stay. The king governs without decapitation or (other) corporal punishments. Criminals are simply fined, lightly or heavily, according to the circumstances (of each case). Even in cases of repeated attempts at wicked rebellion, they only have their right hands cut off. The king's body-guards and attendants all have salaries. ...
— Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms • Fa-Hien

... steadily on, until at last, as we see in the instance before us, it became really of small consequence to the artists of the Renaissance Incarnadine, whether a man had his head on or not, so only that his legs were handsome: and the decapitation, whether of St. John or St. Cecilia; the massacre of any quantity of Innocents; the flaying, whether of Marsyas or St. Bartholomew, and the deaths, it might be of Laocoon by his vipers, it might be of Adonis by ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... hour. It was a most evident attempt to establish an alibi; it was as much as to say, "If you miss any wheat, we didn't take it; we are honest birds, and stay at home o'nights, Dr. Percival." The next morning, however, a general decapitation overtook the flock of feathered hypocrites. "It was a curious instance of the domestic goose reverting to its wild habit of nocturnal feeding," remarked my narrator, dwelling characteristically upon the natural-history ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... latent into kinetic energy. Each is a vital organ, each equally vital. It may be said that excision of the brain may apparently cause death in less time than excision of the liver or adrenals, but this statement must be modified by our definition of death. If all the brain of an animal be removed by decapitation, its body may live on for at least eleven hours if its circulation be maintained by transfusion. An animal may live for weeks or months after excision of the cerebral hemispheres and the cerebellum, while ...
— The Origin and Nature of Emotions • George W. Crile



Words linked to "Decapitation" :   kill, death penalty, putting to death, killing, capital punishment, execution, executing



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