Invented in France, the guillotine is a device used to behead people convicted of crimes.

The guillotine was named after Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, a French doctor who promoted the machine because it was a quicker and more humane way to cut off a person’s head. Guillotine is also as verb. The last time the French government guillotined someone was in 1977, and in 1981 the death penalty was abolished in France.

Definitions of guillotine
  1. noun
    instrument of execution that consists of a weighted blade between two vertical poles; used for beheading people
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    type of:
    instrument of execution
    an instrument designed and used to take the life of a condemned person
  2. verb
    kill by cutting the head off with a guillotine
    “The French guillotined many Vietnamese while they occupied the country”
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    type of:
    behead, decapitate, decollate
    cut the head of
  3. noun
    closure imposed on the debate of specific sections of a bill
    synonyms: closure by compartment
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    type of:
    closure, cloture, gag law, gag rule
    a rule for limiting or ending debate in a deliberative body
Word Family

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