picture for guillotine

Origin of the word GUILLOTINE:

The GUILLOTINE is something that was invented to replace older and harsher methods of execution but it became a terror in itself. It was in fact the device of execution during the French revolution.

When the French revolution took place and the National assembly came into power, it ordered the setting up of a committee that would come up with a better method of execution and wished to replace decapitation with a sword or axe. The committee formed included Dr. Antoine Louis and Dr. Joespeh-Ignace Guillotin as members of the committee. It is the latter’s name that the device guillotine borrows. The device chosen by the committee borrowed the traditional Italian and Scottish designs and added a very sharp and heavy blade to it. This blade, placed at a height, would decapitate instantly and with complete certainty.

The dictionary definitions for GUILLOTINE are as follows:

1. A device for beheading a person by means of a heavy blade that is dropped between two posts serving as guides: widely used during the french Revolution. (noun)
2. An instrument for surgically removing the tonsils. (noun)
3. Any of various machines in which a vertical blade between two parallel uprights descends to cut or trim metal, stacks of paper, etc. (noun)
4. To behead by the guillotine. (verb)
5. To cut with or as if with a guillotine. (verb)

Usage Examples for GUILLOTINE:
1. The guillotine of justice is something that the masses await: behead all who are corrupt.
2. The guillotine is a device to be feared: you do not want your head chopped off, do you?

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