• WordNet 3.6
    • v behead cut the head of "the French King was beheaded during the Revolution"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Ghengis Kahn's first conquered land was an act of retaliation. Kahn sent a group of traders on a peaceful mission to Transoxiana. The governor there beheaded their leader and sent the others back to Kahn with their beards cut off. So Kahn attacked them and continued to onward until most of Asia and Europe were his.
    • v. t Behead To sever the head from; to take off the head of.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In the 1800s, the Chinese believed that strangling a man was less sever a punishment than beheading because the body would not be permanently disfigured.
    • behead To cut off the head of; kill or execute by decapitation.
    • behead Figuratively, to deprive of the head, top, or foremost part of: as, to behead a statue or a word.
    • behead To tap (a stream) and divert its upper waters through new channels: said of the encroachment of one stream upon another in such a way as to ‘capture’ its head and upper tributaries.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Behead be-hed′ to cut off the head
    • ***


  • Herman Melville
    “The lightning flashes through my skull; mine eyeballs ache and ache; my whole beaten brain seems as beheaded, and rolling on some stunning ground.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. bihefden, AS. beheáfdian,; pref. be-, + heáfod, head. See Head


In literature:

Open war, now the only way out, went on till Charles was captured and beheaded, and Parliament held, for a time, entire control.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: History" by Ontario Ministry of Education
She succeeded in obtaining from him some fifty Greeks whom she beheaded, besides Inaros himself, whom she impaled to avenge Achaemenes.
"History Of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12)" by G. Maspero
Many were put to death on the same day, some beheaded and some burnt.
"History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 11 (of 12)" by S. Rappoport
A correspondent sends us the series of "Beheaded Rhymes" which we print below.
"St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, October 1878, No. 12" by Various
Behead, and leave one of Noah's sons.
"St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, Nov 1877-Nov 1878" by Various
In the end the government, with the aid of the troops of the Turkish Sha-t'o, defeated Wang and beheaded him (878).
"A history of China., [3d ed. rev. and enl.]" by Wolfram Eberhard
Raleigh was condemned to death and beheaded.
"The Beginner's American History" by D. H. Montgomery
The paddle end had been used as a shovel, beheader and shell-cracker.
"Little Fuzzy" by Henry Beam Piper
Far different is the second episode when Catherine is about to be beheaded.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
Fisher was indicted for denying the king's supremacy, was tried, condemned, and beheaded.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. From Henry VII. to Mary" by David Hume

In poetry:

And butterflies—each with a face
Of faery on its wings—that seem
Beheaded pansies, softly chase
Each other down the gloom and gleam
Trees interspace.
"Overseas" by Madison Julius Cawein
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.
"Zero Circle" by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

In news:

Bus beheading suspect pleads, 'Please kill me'.
The last recorded execution by beheading was in Paris during September 1977.
What were Marie Antoinette's last words before she was beheaded.
The heroine of this year's best beach read was beheaded 476 years ago.
'Your 13th great-grandfather was beheaded for high treason.
We won't get into the gory details -- buy Winchester's book for that -- but we will say the story of Kara Mustafa Pasha and his severed head involves a failed siege, a ritual beheading, and skull that wouldn't stay buried.
'Your 13th great-grandfather was beheaded for high treason .
Joffrey beheads Ned (Episode 9, "Baelor").
And so it is that I had to wait for William Dalrymple's review of my book to learn that Karachi , the city where Daniel Pearl was beheaded, is an "almost glamorous" city.
The king was so outraged that he ordered that by the next day his entire kingdom be carpeted, otherwise all of his men would be beheaded.
A man who beheaded and cannibalized a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada won his bid to leave the grounds of the mental hospital where he is being kept, a criminal review board ruled Thursday.
A police officer signals from a house where a 2-year-old boy was beheaded Aug 22 in Camden, N.J. Camden was rocked by another slaying Sunday, when a man allegedly slit the throat of a 6-year-old boy and wounded his sister.
UC Berkeley law students allegedly beheaded a bird during a vacation in Las Vegas.
Saudi man beheaded on 'witchcraft and sorcery ' charges.
A man has been beheaded on charges of sorcery and witchcraft in Saudi Arabia after being found in possession of mystical books and talismans.