Definition of lynch in English:


Syllabification: lynch
Pronunciation: /linCH


[with object]
  • (Of a mob) kill (someone), especially by hanging, for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial.
    More example sentences
    • Angry mobs lynching someone suspected of murder is wrong, even if that person is actually guilty.
    • Blake was accused of killing his wife, and they want to lynch him.
    • If you just grabbed an unconvicted murderer off the street and lynched him, you would be a murderer in your own right.
    execute illegally, hang, kill
    informal string up



More example sentences
  • Likewise, the collective anonymity of the executioners ensured that few lynchers were ever prosecuted.
  • But federal investigations into lynchings could only concentrate on trying to prove that the lynchers had violated their victims' civil rights.
  • In effect, lynchers could go about their horrific deeds with the protection of the law and little fear of retribution.


mid 19th century: from Lynch's law, early form of lynch law 'the practice of killing an alleged criminal by lynching', named after Capt. William Lynch, head of a self-constituted judicial tribunal in Virginia circa1780.

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