assassin

Definitions

  • Pinocchio Escapes from his Assassins
    Pinocchio Escapes from his Assassins
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n assassin a murderer (especially one who kills a prominent political figure) who kills by a surprise attack and often is hired to do the deed "his assassins were hunted down like animals","assassinators of kings and emperors"
    • n assassin a member of a secret order of Muslims (founded in the 12th century) who terrorized and killed Christian Crusaders
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Assassination of Viriathus Assassination of Viriathus
TWO ASSASSINS IN LONG CLOAKS TWO ASSASSINS IN LONG CLOAKS

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The word assassination was invented by William Shakespeare
    • n Assassin One who kills, or attempts to kill, by surprise or secret assault; one who treacherously murders any one unprepared for defense.
    • v. t Assassin To assassinate.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Shakespeare invented the word "assassination" and "bump."
    • n assassin One of the Assassins, a military and religious order in Syria, founded in Persia by Hassan ben Sabbah about the year 1090. A colony migrated from Persia to Syria, settled in various places, with their chief seat on the mountains of Lebanon, and became remarkable for their secret murders in blind obedience to the will of their chief. Their religion was a compound of Magianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism. One article of their creed was that the Holy Spirit resided in their chief and that his orders proceeded from God himself. The chief of the sect is best known by the denomination old man of the mountain (Arabic sheikh al-jebal, chief of the mountains). These barbarous chieftains and their followers spread terror among nations far and near for almost two centuries. In the time of the crusades they mustered to the number of 50,000, and presented a formidable obstacle to the arms of the Christians. They were eventually subdued by the sultan Bibars about 1272.
    • n assassin One who undertakes, for a reward previously agreed on, to put another person to death by surprise or secret assault; hence, one who kills, or attempts to kill, by treacherous violence; a murderer.
    • n assassin A breast-knot, or similar decoration worn in front.
    • assassin To murder; assassinate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Seven of the eight US Presidents who have died in office either through illness or assassination were elected at precisely 20-year intervals.
    • n Assassin as-as′in one who, usually for a reward, kills by surprise or secretly
    • n Assassin (obs.) one who assassinates
    • ***

Quotations

  • European Court Cliche
    European Court Cliche
    “Assassination is the perquisite of princes.”
  • Benjamin Disraeli
    Benjamin%20Disraeli
    “Assassination has never changed the history of the world.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    George%20Bernard%20Shaw
    “Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.”
  • Voltaire
    Voltaire
    “The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.”
  • Herbert Clark Hoover
    Herbert%20Clark%20Hoover
    “Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.”
  • Albert Camus
    Albert%20Camus
    “Whoever today speaks of human existence in terms of power, efficiency, and historical tasks is an actual or potential assassin.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. (cf. It. assassino,), fr. Ar. ‘hashishin, one who has drunk of the hashish,. Under its influence the Assassins of the East, followers of the Shaikh al-JabalOld Man of the Mountain), were said to commit the murders required by their chief

Usage

In literature:

Others even meditated his assassination to save the interests of the King of Portugal.
"The Philippine Islands" by John Foreman
He is sure about its being an attempt to assassinate him, as of the man who has made it.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
The plan proposed was to assassinate William as he was on his way to hunt in Richmond Park.
"John Deane of Nottingham" by W.H.G. Kingston
Indeed, in private, he has acknowledged it all to me, and, failing to corrupt me to his service, last night set an assassin to kill me.
"Under the Rose" by Frederic Stewart Isham
Twice, rumors had come that he was to be assassinated.
"Despoilers of the Golden Empire" by Gordon Randall Garrett
Some of the best men were for organizing a conspiracy to assassinate the assassins.
"The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hundred Years Ago" by John S. C. Abbott
What care I for all the murderers and assassins who form this terrible society of which we are members?
"Princess Zara" by Ross Beeckman
Assassinations were also frequent.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
In 1570, the regent Murray was assassinated.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
She could not reach the midnight assassin that way.
"The Opal Serpent" by Fergus Hume
Frequent letters were received warning Mr. Lincoln of assassination, but he never gave a second thought to the mysterious warnings.
"Behind the Scenes" by Elizabeth Keckley
And, on 16th March Gustavus of Sweden was assassinated by Anckarstroem, a tool of the revengeful nobles.
"William Pitt and the Great War" by John Holland Rose
Dominique de Gorgues, of Gascony, avenged their fate by hanging their Spanish supplanters in 1567, not as Spaniards, but as assassins.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Who would be expecting assassination?
"The Flag of Distress" by Mayne Reid
His opinion was that an assassin would be taken away altogether and bestowed upon Antigua.
"The Idler Magazine, Volume III., July 1893" by Various
Traitor and assassin of your prince, I condemn you to death.
"Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
But the bold assassin had made a sad mistake.
"Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Men seized the assassin and hurried him away.
"The Secret Witness" by George Gibbs
Heath, I believe you could put your hand on the assassin.
"The Diamond Coterie" by Lawrence L. Lynch
The conclusion then was that neither assassination nor burglary had taken place.
"Wood Rangers" by Mayne Reid
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In poetry:

Slain by assassins
Svolder's sharp-shooter,
The lion that leaped on the
Heath of Lyrskog!
"Bergliot" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
When the last king of Persia fell,
By an assassin's sword,
Kindly the Grecian warrior treated.
The mother of the prince defeated:
Her royal name I pray you tell,
And how she mourned her lord.
"Enigma XV." by Elizabeth Hitchener
Ye Nymphs, if e'er your eyes were red With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,
Oh, share Maria's grief!
Her favourite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage?)
Assassined by a thief.
"On The Death Of Mrs. Throckmorton's Bullfinch" by William Cowper
Would ye splash, in your madness, the blood of the children,
With merciless blows, in the poor mother's face?
Turn back, ye Assassins! or wear on your foreheads
For ever the brand of a God-hated race!
"Pro Patria: America, 1861" by Adah Isaacs Menken
A COUNSELLOR (DIETHER VON WERTHER).
Fit silence welcomes this unheard-of wrong!
So! Ye are men--free, upright, honest men,
Not hired assassins? I half doubted it,
Seeing you lend these infamous words your ears.
"The Dance To Death. Act IV" by Emma Lazarus
Assassins of Liberty! comes there not o'er you
A thought of the time, when the land you would blight,
Though slumbering 'mid tombs of a hundred dead nations,
Though Britain's steel bulwarks broke into the light?
"Pro Patria: America, 1861" by Adah Isaacs Menken

In news:

If you're like me, you read the Warren Commission Report when you were 14, convinced that you and you alone would read between the lines and figure out who really assassinated John F Kennedy on Nov 22, 1963, in Dallas' Dealey Plaza.
Books As the 50th anniversary of the John F Kennedy assassination nears, in 2013, two out of three Americans still believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in murdering the president.
Includes biography, chronology, interviews, and cases for and against various conspiracy theories about Oswald's involvement in the assassination of JFK.
is the most significant of all the programs marking this anniversary of the assassination of JFK.
That night Oswald had attempted to assassinate General Edwin Walker, a virulent anti-Communist.
In the 40 years since John F Kennedy's assassination, thousands of books and films have come out, with most of them setting forth conspiracy theories.
I was 10 when President Kennedy was assassinated and I vividly recall that weekend.
Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey is a recognized expert on organized crime and an authority on the JFK assassination.
On November 20, FRONTLINE marks the 40th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination with an encore broadcast of "Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald ".
Millions of Americans believe there exists a larger, darker explanation for President Kennedy's assassination than just Oswald, the lone, disturbed gunman.
She has not seen the assassin since he was supposed to have done his deed.
Today's papers focus on the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, but watch also some positive news from Africa, where Liberian elections appear to be free of violence.
More fiction than fact, this novel replays the JFK assassination.
The plot of Libra , Don DeLillo's ninth novel, is the plot that led to the assassination of John F Kennedy that Friday in November almost 25 years ago.
It's been nearly 50 years since President John F Kennedy was assassinated during a visit to Dallas, Tex.
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In science:

Blows at Midnight, the Kennedy assassination, or Pearl Harbor.
Astrophysics in 2005
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