euthanasia [yoo-thuh-ney-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh] Word Origin noun

  1. Also called mercy killing. the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition.
  2. painless death.

Origin of euthanasia 1640–50; New Latin Greek euthanasía an easy death, equivalent to eu- eu- + thánat(os) death + -ia -y3 Related formseu·tha·na·si·ast [yoo-thuh-ney-zee-ast] /ˌyu θəˈneɪ ziˌæst/, nouneu·tha·na·sic [yoo-thuh-ney-zik] /ˌyu θəˈneɪ zɪk/, adjectivepro·eu·tha·na·sia, adjective British Dictionary definitions for euthanasiast euthanasia noun

  1. the act of killing someone painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illnessAlso called: mercy killing

Word Origin for euthanasia C17: via New Latin from Greek: easy death, from eu- + thanatos death Word Origin and History for euthanasiast euthanasia n.

c.1600, from Greek euthanasia “an easy or happy death,” from eu- “good” (see eu-) + thanatos “death” (see thanatology). Sense of “legally sanctioned mercy killing” is first recorded in English 1869.

euthanasiast in Medicine euthanasia [yōō′thə-nā′zhə] n.

  1. The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment.
  2. A quiet, painless death.

euthanasiast in Science euthanasia [yōō′thə-nā′zhə]

  1. The act or practice of painlessly ending the life of an animal or a willing individual who has a terminal illness or incurable condition, as by giving a lethal drug.

euthanasiast in Culture euthanasia [(yooh-thuh-nay-zhuh)]

Painlessly putting someone to death — usually someone with an incurable and painful disease; mercy killing.

Note Proposals to make euthanasia legal in the United States have inspired heated debate.

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