Definition of assassin in English:

assassin

Syllabification: as·sas·sin
Pronunciation: /əˈsasin
 
/

noun

  • 1A murderer of an important person in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons.
    More example sentences
    • She knew now he was not sleeping, and had been murdered by the assassins who lay dead on her floor.
    • Police believe the victim may not have even seen the assassin who murdered him with a single shot to the back.
    • This particular guild was a home to 75 of the best thieves, assassins and cut throats in Europe.
    Synonyms
    murderer, killer, gunman; executioner
    informal hitman, hired gun
    dated homicide
  • 1.1 (Assassin) • historical A member of the Nizari branch of Ismaili Muslims at the time of the Crusades, when the newly established sect ruled part of northern Persia (1094–1256). They were renowned as militant fanatics, and were popularly reputed to use hashish before going on murder missions.
    More example sentences
    • In the 11 th century in the Middle East the Shiite sect known as the Assassins would eat hashish before murdering civilian foes.
    • In June, the Sultan had an Assassin try to murder Prince Edward.
    • The Muslim Cult of Assassins of the 12th and 13th centuries, like the Jewish Zealots of the 1st, have been enrolled for this genealogical purpose.

Origin

mid 16th century: from French, or from medieval Latin assassinus, from Arabic ḥašīšī 'hashish eater'.

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