1651, nl. coinage (probably originating in English) suīcīda, suīcīdium, from Latin suī (from suus ("one’s own")) + Latin -cīda ("one who kills"). Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈs(j)uːɪˌsaɪd/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈs(j)uɪˌsaɪd/


  1. (uncountable) Intentional killing of oneself.
    • 1904, Harold MacGrath, The Man On The Box, ch. 22:
      The cowardice of suicide was abhorrent to him.
  2. (countable) A particular instance of a person intentionally killing himself or herself, or of multiple people doing so.
    • 1919, Edgar Wallace, The Secret House, ch. 14:
      There had been half a dozen mysterious suicides which had been investigated by Scotland Yard.
    • 1999, Philip H. Melling, Fundamentalism in America: Millennialism, Identity and Militant Religion, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-0978-9, page 192 ↗:
      In this way the Heaven’s Gate community were not only escaping the threat of ‘global destruction’, they were hurling themselves directly into ‘the lap of God’, using their suicide as a way of ‘bridging the chasm’ between an earthly world which had no future and ‘a thousand years of unmitigated peace’.
  3. (countable) A person who has intentionally killed him/herself.
    • 1915, W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, ch. 95:
      "I remember one suicide," she said to Philip, "who threw himself into the Thames."
  4. (figuratively) An action that could cause the literal or figurative death of a person or organization, although death is not the aim of the action.
    • 1959, Everett Dirksen, in the Congressional Record, Feb. 9, page 2100:[]
      […] I do not want the Congress or the country to commit fiscal suicide on the installment plan.
    • 2000, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, The Ice Limit ISBN 0446525871:
      “Mr. Glinn,” said Britton, “it's suicide to take a huge ship like this past the Ice Limit. Especially in this weather.”
  5. (countable) A beverage combining all available flavors at a soda fountain.
    • 1994, Christopher Buckley, Cruising State: Growing Up in Southern California, University of Nevada Press, ISBN 0-87417-247-0, page 34 ↗:
      You could sit at a corner and order your Suicide, and one of two twin brothers who worked there would hold an old-fashioned soda glass, a heavy tall V-shaped one with a round foot at the bottom, and go down the line with one shot of everything—cherry, lemon, Coke, and chocolate syrups—before adding soda water.
    • 2000, Mark Pendergrast, For God, Country and Coca-Cola, Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-05468-4, page 15 ↗:
      Using Coca-Cola as a base, a suicide called for the addition of every other flavor available.
  6. A diabolo trick where one of the sticks is released and allowed to rotate 360° round the diabolo until it is caught by the hand that released it.
  7. (countable) A run comprising a series of sprints of increasing lengths, each followed immediately by a return to the start, with no pause between one sprint and the next.
    The coach makes us run suicides at the end of each basketball practice.
  8. A children's game of throwing a ball against a wall and at other players, who are eliminated by being struck.
  9. (attributive) pertaining to a suicide bombing; as suicide belt, suicide vest
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: самоуби́йство

suicide (suicides, present participle suiciding; past and past participle suicided)

  1. (intransitive) To kill oneself intentionally.
    • 1917, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams, ch. 11:
      "Her husband suicided three years ago. Just like a man!"
    • 1953, Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye, Penguin 2010, page 136:
      Seems a lady poet suicided at Verringer's ranch in Sepulveda canyon one time.
  2. (transitive) To kill (someone) and make their death appear to have been a suicide rather than a homicide (now especially as part of a conspiracy).
    • 1898 October 29, in Punch, or the London charivari, page 196:
      Have bought The Shanghai Chopsticks. Proprietor at first refused to sell, but when I ordered the boiling oil he became more reasonable. Editor reports that circulation is not what it ought to be. […] Will publish proclaimation, "Any person found not in possession of The Shanghai Chopsticks (current number) will be suicided."
  3. To self-destruct.
Synonyms Adjective

suicide (not comparable)

  1. Relating to suicide.

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