Definition of John Wilkes Booth from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


John Wilkes Booth

; NAmE
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(1838-65) the US actor who shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln on 14 April 1865 in Ford's Theater, Washington, DC, while the President was watching a play. Booth had sympathy for the Confederate States and was angry at their defeat by Lincoln's government. After shooting the President, he jumped onto the stage and broke his leg but escaped. He was later found in a barn (= farm building) and died when he either shot himself or was shot.