When the bad-tempered Queen of Hearts cried “off with their heads!” in Alice in Wonderland, she was ordering her henchmen to decapitate those who had offended her.

The verb decapitate comes from Latin de ”away” or “down” and caput “head.” Don’t confuse it with kaput, a German word that means “broken” or destroyed.” Of course, if someone were to decapitate you, you’d be pretty well kaput.

Definitions of decapitate

v cut the head of

behead, decollate
kill by cutting the head off with a guillotine
Type of:
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

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