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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce lynch (audio)

Dictionary definition of lynch

To kill someone, typically by hanging without a legal trial, often done by a mob.
"The group of vigilantes were determined to lynch the alleged thief."

Detailed meaning of lynch

The term is derived from the name of a judge, William Lynch, who was known to have used this method of punishment in the 18th century. Lynchings were often used as a means of racial terror, particularly in the American South, against African Americans who were accused of crimes, real or imagined. This practice was a widespread form of racial terrorism that was used to intimidate and control African American communities, and it was a major factor in the suppression of voting rights and other civil liberties of African Americans. Lynching has been widely condemned as a racist and inhumane practice and it is illegal in the United States.

Example sentences containing lynch

1. The mob decided to lynch the accused criminal without a fair trial.
2. The history of lynching in the United States is a dark and shameful chapter.
3. The civil rights activists fought against the practice of lynching in the southern states.
4. The lynching of the young man was condemned by the community and led to protests.
5. The novel portrays the horror of lynchings during the time of slavery.
6. The threat of lynching forced many African Americans to leave their homes and communities.

History and etymology of lynch

The verb 'lynch' has a disturbing and tragic etymology. It is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 18th century and is named after Charles Lynch, a Virginia planter and justice of the peace. Charles Lynch was known for taking extrajudicial actions against suspected criminals during the American Revolutionary War, particularly those who were believed to be Tories or loyalists to the British Crown. The term 'lynch' became associated with the act of taking the law into one's own hands and administering vigilante justice, often resulting in the summary execution, typically by hanging, of individuals without a legal trial. This practice, sadly, continued throughout American history, primarily targeting African Americans and other minority groups, making 'lynching' a dark and painful part of the nation's history. The term 'lynch' itself became a symbol of racial violence and injustice.

Quiz: Find the meaning of lynch

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Further usage examples of lynch

1. The lynching of the innocent man sparked outrage and calls for justice.
2. The anti-lynching bill was passed to help curb the practice and bring those responsible to justice.
3. The story of the lynching of the young boy was told as a warning to others.
4. The lynching of the innocent man led to a shift in public opinion about racial justice.
5. The lynching of innocent individuals was a common practice in the past, but it is now illegal and condemned by society.
6. The angry mob threatened to lynch the suspect if he didn't confess.
7. The town's dark history includes incidents where people were threatened with lynching.
8. Calls for justice echoed through the crowd as they demanded the lynching stop.
9. The community came together to condemn the idea of lynching as a form of punishment.
10. Historians study the lynching era to understand its impact on society.
11. Civil rights activists fought tirelessly to end racial lynching.
12. Public outcry against lynching led to changes in legislation.
13. The documentary shed light on the history of lynching in America.
14. Lynchings were often used to instill fear and control.
15. The museum had an exhibit on the history of lynching.
16. They organized a protest to raise awareness about the horrors of lynching.
17. The mayor denounced the practice of lynching in a passionate speech.
18. Lynch mobs were a terrifying reality in the past.
19. The film depicted the brutal consequences of mob lynching.
20. Literature has explored the psychological impact of witnessing a lynching.
21. The community held a memorial for the lynching victims.
22. Scholars have written extensively about the social dynamics of lynching.
23. The play tackled the themes of racial tension and lynching.
24. The church hosted a discussion on lynching and its historical context.



execute, absolve, release, pardon


Conflict and Confrontation, Damage and Destruction, Chasms and Carnage, Criminal Justice and Penalties, Crime and Lawlessness

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