assassinate

To assassinate someone means to target and deliberately kill that person. The word assassinate is almost always used to describe the killing of a famous person.

When a political leader or very well-known person is murdered, the killer is said to assassinate the victim. A killer might assassinate someone for political or ideological reasons, to gain fame for the act, or possibly for payment by someone else. You can assassinate figuratively, as well, by damaging a person's good name: "If you print that story, it will assassinate my reputation." The Arabic root of assassin is hashishiyyin, "hashish users."

Definitions of assassinate
  1. verb
    murder; especially of socially prominent persons
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    type of:
    kill
    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
  2. verb
    destroy or damage seriously, as of someone's reputation
    “He assassinated his enemy's character”
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    type of:
    asperse, besmirch, calumniate, defame, denigrate, slander, smear, smirch, sully
    charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone
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