Definition of infanticide in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈfan(t)əˌsīd/


1The crime of killing a child within a year of birth.
Example sentences
  • There are several offences of unlawful homicide: murder, manslaughter, infanticide and causing death by dangerous driving.
  • Cases now treated as infanticide often involve extreme emotional disturbance, as do mercy killings, suicide pacts, and cases of duress.
  • One deals with the postpartum depression defense for a mother accused of infanticide.
1.1The practice in some societies of killing unwanted children soon after birth.
Example sentences
  • The practice of female infanticide started 50 years ago when a dam was constructed in the area and the village was divided into the well-irrigated and the arid zones leading to a great deal of economic inequality, says Johnson.
  • Sometimes the check is the natural one of famine and plague; in other societies, systematic infanticide is practiced.
  • But, in a country where female infanticide is practised and baby girls abandoned in dustbins, women chief ministers in five States is, nonetheless, remarkable.
2A person who kills an infant, especially their own child.
Example sentences
  • The Euripidean portrait of Medea as an infanticide had roots in the folkloric paradigm of the child-killing demon.
  • Saturn Devouring One of His Sons depicts the graphic and bloody dismemberment of a cannibalistic infanticide.
  • Frenchwomen Ask Clemency for an Infanticide.



Pronunciation: /-ˌfantiˈsīdl/
Example sentences
  • In early state societies, child-rearing was predominantly infanticidal.
  • He famously failed to defend the infanticidal Minnie Dean, the first and last woman to be hanged in New Zealand.
  • Nor does Harris spend any time pondering, for instance, the infanticidal teachings of prominent philosophers and ethicists (such as Princeton's Peter Singer) who share Harris’ ‘rational’ utilitarian perspective.


Mid 17th century: via French from late Latin infanticidium, from Latin infant- (see infant) + -cidium (see -cide).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·fan·ti·cide

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