Definition of guillotine noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɡɪlətiːn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡɪlətiːn//
    Types of punishment
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  1. 1[singular] a machine, originally from France, for cutting people’s heads off. It has a heavy blade that slides down a wooden frame. He was sent to the guillotine in January 1793. See related entries: Types of punishment
  2. 2 (British English) (US English paper cutter) [countable] a device with a long blade for cutting paper
  3. 3[singular] (British English, politics) the setting of a time limit on a debate in Parliament
  4. Word Originlate 18th cent.: from French, named after Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738–1814), the French physician who recommended its use for executions in 1789.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: guillotine

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