(noun) The premeditated act or process of an individual or group unlawfully killing another individual or group.


  1. A stalker stabbing an individual to death.
  2. A serial killer shooting a victim.

Audio Pronunciation: (mur·der)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: murders
  • Murder is not the same as homicide, which is the killing of an individual by another individual or manslaughter, which is homicide without premeditated malice. The legal distinctions between murder and manslaughter vary greatly between jurisdictions.
  • The United States legally differentiates between four types of homicide. First-degree murder, Second-degree murder, Voluntary Manslaughter (also called Third-degree murder), and Involuntary Manslaughter.
  • There are numerous types of “named” murders such as:
    • amicicide – Murder of one’s friend.
    • androcide – Murder of a man.
    • avunculicide – Murder of one’s uncle.
    • femicide – Murder of a woman.
      • Also called gynocide.
    • fratricide
      • 1. Murder of one’s brother.
      • 2. Murder of one’s sibling.
    • gendercide – Murder of a specific gender or sex.
    • infanticide – Murder of an infant.
    • mariticide – Murder of a husband by his wife.
    • multicide – Murder of multiple people; mass murder.
    • neonaticide – Murder of newborn child.
    • infanticide – Murder of an infant.
    • parricide – Murder of one’s family, particularly a parent.
    • patricide – Murder of one’s father.
    • prolicide – Murder of one’s offspring.
    • regicide – Murder of a king.
    • sororicide – Murder of one’s sister.
    • tyrannicide – Murder of a tyrant.
    • uxoricide – Murder of a wife by her husband.
    • viricide – Murder of a husband.
  • A (noun) murderer (verb) murders with (adjective) murderous intent.

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Briggs, Steven M., and Joan Friedman. 2009. Criminology For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Farlex. (N.d.) Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Farlex. (

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Siegel, Larry J., and Clemens Bartollas. 2011. Corrections Today. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2012. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 13th ed. Belmont: CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2013. Essentials of Criminal Justice. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (


How to Cite the Definition of Murder

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “murder.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

murder. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “murder.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“murder.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 18 Jul. 2019. <>.