• WordNet 3.6
    • v guillotine kill by cutting the head off with a guillotine "The French guillotined many Vietnamese while they occupied the country"
    • n guillotine instrument of execution that consists of a weighted blade between two vertical poles; used for beheading people
    • n guillotine closure imposed on the debate of specific sections of a bill
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Dr. Guillotin merely proposed the machine that bears his name (which was rejected by the crown) and he never made a working model. The first working model was made by his assistant years later. When the machine attained infamy in the French Revolution, Dr.Guillotin protested its use and went to his grave claiming that the machine was unjustly named after him.
    • Guillotine A machine for beheading a person by one stroke of a heavy ax or blade, which slides in vertical guides, is raised by a cord, and let fall upon the neck of the victim.
    • Guillotine Any machine or instrument for cutting or shearing, resembling in its action a guillotine.
    • v. t Guillotine To behead with the guillotine.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The guillotine was originally called a louisette. Named for Antoine Louis, the French surgeon who invented it. It became known as the guillotine for Joseph Ignace Guillotin, the French physician who advocated it as a more merciful means of execution than the noose or ax.
    • n guillotine A machine used in France for beheading condemned persons by the action of a heavily weighted, oblique-edged knife falling between two grooved posts upon the neck of the victim, whose head protrudes through a circular hole in a divided plank. Similar devices had been used in the middle ages. (See maiden.) The form adopted by the French government in March, 1792, was contrived, with the approval of the Assembly, by a Dr. Louis, from whom it was at first called louisette; but it afterward was named from Dr. J. I. Guillotin, who had proposed in the National Assembly in 1789 the substitution of some more humane method for the slow and cruel modes of execution then in use, but without indicating any particular machine.
    • n guillotine One of several machines similar in principle to the above, much used for cutting paper, straw, etc. Also called guillotine cutter.
    • n guillotine In surgery, an instrument for cutting the tonsils.
    • guillotine To behead by the guillotine.
    • n guillotine A machine for breaking iron by means of a falling weight.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Guillotine gil′ō-tēn an instrument for beheading—consisting of an upright frame down which a sharp heavy axe descends on the neck of the victim—adopted during the French Revolution, and named after Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814), a physician, who first proposed its adoption: a machine for cutting paper, straw, &c.: a surgical instrument for cutting the tonsils
    • v.t Guillotine to behead with the guillotine
    • ***


  • Franz Kafka
    “A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.”
  • Clare Boothe Luce
    “Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals [With] no cure except as a guillotine might be called a cure for dandruff.”
  • Albert Camus
    “Absolute virtue is impossible and the republic of forgiveness leads, with implacable logic, to the republic of the guillotine.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., from Guillotin, a French physician, who proposed, in the Constituent Assembly of 1789, to abolish decapitation with the ax or sword. The instrument was invented by Dr. Antoine Louis, and was called at first Louison or Louisette. Similar machines, however, were known earlier


In literature:

She had been guillotined, and revived by sorcery.
"Memoirs" by Charles Godfrey Leland
As for France loving republican principles, her republicanism was founded upon blood and the guillotine.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
I would not for the world have you cheat the guillotine.
"In Kings' Byways" by Stanley J. Weyman
It has to be played by a hurdy-gurdy on a guillotine.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
Now for all its blood and its black guillotines, the French Revolution was full of mere high spirits.
"Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens" by G. K. Chesterton
Thus the work of the political guillotine went on.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
With a little more provocation there would have been barricades and the guillotine just as before.
"Barbara in Brittany" by E. A. Gillie
Let the guillotine work incessantly through the whole Republic.
"The False Chevalier" by William Douw Lighthall
Molly was in her chair, with her head lolling over the back, as if it were a guillotine, her huge mouth wide open, fast asleep.
"Nell, of Shorne Mills" by Charles Garvice
For his vigor as mayor in keeping the peace, and for his manly defence of the Queen, he was guillotined.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)" by Augustus De Morgan

In poetry:

Angel of this sacred place,
Calm her soul and whisper peace,
Cord, or axe, or guillotin'
Make the sentence - not the sin.
"The Wake of William Orr" by William Drennan
God of Peace, and God of Love,
Let it not thy vengeance move!
Let it not thy lightnings draw -
A Nation guillotin'd by law!
"The Wake of William Orr" by William Drennan
Athwart the golden flood of morn
Was poised the wing of Death,
As 'neath the fearful guillotine
The doomed one drew his breath.
"The Child's Appeal" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
In every wood is green and gold,
The unbridged river runs all green
With queenly swan-clouds floating bold
Down to the mill's swift guillotine.
Beyond the mill each murdered queen
Floats white and cold.
"The Winds" by John Freeman
"The grim Bastile, the rack, the wheel, without remorse or pity,
May flourish with the guillotine in every Yankee city;
No matter should old Abe revive the brazen bull of Phalaris,
'Tis no concern at all of ours"--(sensation in the galleries.)
"England's Neutrality" by John Reuben Thompson

In news:

"I feel like I'm in a guillotine," he said.
Slips of the Knife, Resulting ER Trips Spawn Battle of the Guillotine vs the Brooklyn Slicer.
Art can raise money (or get smashed in a guillotine ).
Moaning in agony, members of royalty and the clergy wait in a dark prison to be summoned to the guillotine.
A Guillotine Cannot Blur Poulenc 's Soft Sounds.
Standing outside the doors that open and shut like a horizontal guillotine I took a deep breath and said a prayer before closing my eyes and venturing inside.
During my first year in college a strange hip hop group burst onto the scene wielding flying guillotines, rhyming about Shaolin monks, and generally dominating the airwaves.
If you have a dull, plastic, single-blade guillotine, throw it away and buy another one.
The part that worries me, though, is that the rear hatch has reconfigured itself to where it now has a guillotine feature.
0The TA-BLS bi-layer shear jig for the CT3 texture tester is a guillotine type device used to measure the force needed to separate the layers of a multi-layer tablet.
Guillotine lock in Kings Norton gets £200,000 revamp.
It's been over two centuries since Louis XVI was guillotined on Paris' Place de la Concorde, but the job of hunting the underground pest that so troubled French monarchs on the grounds of the Versailles palace still exists.
Santorum's hyperbole: Over the top to the guillotine.
The story of the Grant Park guillotine.
Only one Dukes County town is riding in the tumbrel, bound for the United States Postal Service guillotine.

In science:

One-dimensional random walks in random scenery recently arose in the study of random walks evolving on oriented versions of Z2 (see Guillotin-Plantard and Le Ny (2007, 2008)) as well as in the context of charged polymers (see Chen and Khoshnevisan (2008)).
Limit theorem for random walk in weakly dependent random scenery
Guillotin-Plantard, N. and Prieur, C. (2009) Limit theorem for random walk in weakly dependent random scenery.
A functional approach for random walks in random sceneries
In , Guillotin-Plantard and Le Ny established the link between the Campanino and Pétritis random walk and the random walk in random scenery and proved a functional limit theorem for the first one.
A local limit theorem for random walks in random scenery and on randomly oriented lattices
Guillotin-Plantard, Dynamic Zd -random walks in a random scenery: A strong law of large numbers, J.
Dynamic Random Walks on Motion Groups
Guillotin-Plantard. A functional approach for random walks in random sceneries.
Random walks at random times and their reward schema: weak convergence to iterated Levy motion, fractional stable motions, and other self-similar processes