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List of types of killing

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In the English language, terms for types of killing often end in the suffix -cide.

Killing of self[edit]

  • Suicide, intentionally causing one's own death.
    • Altruistic suicide, suicide for the benefit of others.
    • Autocide, suicide by automobile collision.
    • Medicide, a suicide accomplished with the aid of a physician.
    • Murder-suicide, a suicide committed immediately after one or more murders.
    • Self-immolation, suicide by fire, often as a form of protest.
    • Suicide by cop, acting in a threatening manner so as to provoke a lethal response from law enforcement.

Killing of other people[edit]

All of these are considered types of homicide.

Killing of family[edit]

  • Avunculicide – the act of killing an uncle (Latin: avunculus "(maternal) uncle").
  • Familicide – is a multiple-victim homicide where a killer's spouse and children are slain (Latin: familia "family").
  • Filicide – the act of a parent killing their child (Latin: filius "son" and Latin: filia "daughter").
  • Fratricide – the act of killing a brother (Latin: frater "brother"); also, in military context, death by friendly fire.
  • Geronticide – the abandonment of the elderly to die, die by suicide or be killed.
  • Honour killing – the act of murdering a family member perceived to have brought disgrace to the family.
  • Infanticide – the act of killing a child within the first year of their life.
  • Mariticide – the act of killing one's husband (Latin: maritus "husband").
  • Matricide – the act of killing one's mother (Latin: mater "mother").
  • Neonaticide – the act of killing an infant within the first twenty-four hours or month (varies by individual and jurisdiction) of its life.
  • Nepoticide – the act of killing one's nephew.
  • Parricide or parenticide – the killing of one's mother, father, or other close relative.
  • Patricide – the act of killing of one's father (Latin: pater "father").
  • Prolicide – the act of killing one's own children.
  • Senicide – the killing of one's elderly family members when they can no longer work or they have become a burden (Latin: senex "old man").
  • Siblicide – the killing of an infant individual by their close relatives (full or half siblings).
  • Sororicide – the act of killing one's sister (Latin: soror "sister").
  • Uxoricide – the act of killing one's wife (Latin: uxor "wife").

Killing of others[edit]

  • Amicicide – the act of killing a friend (Latin: amicus "friend").
  • Androcide – the systematic killing of men.
  • Assassination – the act of killing a prominent person for either political, religious, or monetary reasons.
  • Capital punishment – the judicial killing of a human being for crimes.
  • Casualty – death (or injury) in wartime.
  • Collateral damage – Incidental killing of persons during a military attack that were not the object of attack.
  • Democide or populicide – the murder of any person or people by a government.
  • Extrajudicial killing – killing by government forces without due process. See also Targeted killing.
  • Euthanasia or mercy killing – the killing of any being with compassionate reasoning; e.g., significant injury or disease.
  • Familiaricide in commutatione eius possessio – the act of killing a family for their property and/or possessions (from Latin: familiaris "of a household"; in commutatione eius "in exchange for"; and possessio "a possession or property").
  • Femicide, gynecide, gynaecide, or gynocide – the systematic killing of women.
  • Feticide – the killing of an embryo or fetus.
  • Fragging - the act of killing a fellow soldier.
  • Gendercide – the systematic killing of members of a specific sex or gender.
  • Genocide – the systematic extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.
  • Homicide – the act of killing of a person (Latin: homo "man").
  • Justifiable homicide – a defense to culpable homicide (criminal or negligent homicide).
  • Human sacrifice – the killing of a human for sacrificial, often religious, reasons.
  • Massacre, mass murder or spree killing – the killing of many people.
  • Murder – the malicious and unlawful killing of a human by another human.
  • Manslaughter – murder, but under legally mitigating circumstances.
  • Meretricide - the act of killing a sex worker, oftentimes a female sex worker, but can apply to other genders. From latin merēre, meaning "to gain".
  • Omnicide – the act of killing all humans, to create intentional extinction of the human species (Latin: omni "all, everyone").
  • Pedicide – the act of killing children.
  • Senicide or geronticide – the act of killing an elderly person.
  • Targeted killing – a form of assassination which is carried out by governments against their perceived enemies. See also Extrajudicial killing.
  • Xenocide – the genocide of an entire alien species. Often used in science fiction, one famous example being the novel Xenocide by Orson Scott Card.

Killing of superiors[edit]

Killing of animals, disease, and pests[edit]

  • Algaecide – a chemical agent that kills algae.
  • Acaricide – a chemical agent that kills mites.
  • Avicide – a chemical agent that kills birds.
  • Bactericide – a chemical agent that kills bacteria.
  • Biocide – a chemical agent that kills a broad spectrum of living organisms.
  • Fungicide – chemical agents or biological organisms used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores.
  • Germicide – an agent that kills germs, especially pathogenic microorganisms; a disinfectant.
  • Herbicide – an agent that kills unwanted plants, a weed killer.
  • Insecticide – an agent that kills unwanted insects.
  • Larvicide (also larvacide) – an insecticide targeted against the larval life stage of an insect.
  • Microbicide – an agent used to kill or reduce the infectiousness of microorganisms.
  • Miticide – a chemical to kill mites.
  • Nemacide (also nematicide, nematocide) – a chemical to eradicate or kill nematodes.
  • Parasiticide – a general term to describe an agent used to destroy parasites.
  • Pediculicide – an agent that kills head lice.
  • Pesticide – a general term to describe an agent used to destroy or repel a pest.
  • Rodenticide - an agent that kills rodents (especially rats and mice).
  • Scabicide – a chemical agent for killing scabies.
  • Spermicide – a contraceptive agent to render sperm inert and prevent fertilization.
  • Teniacide (also taeniacide, tenicide) – a chemical agent that kills tape worms.
  • Theriocide – the act of killing an animal by a human (Ancient Greek: therion "wild animal, beast").
  • Vermicide – an agent used to kill parasitic intestinal worms.
  • Virucide (also viricide) – an agent capable of destroying or inhibiting viruses.
  • Vulpicide (also vulpecide) – the killing of a fox by methods other than by hunting it with hounds.

Killing of intangibles or inanimates[edit]

  • Ecocide – the destruction of the natural environment by such activity as war, overexploitation of resources, or pollution.
  • Famacide, defamation, or slander – the killing of another's reputation.
  • Linguicide – intentionally causing the death of a language.
  • Epistemicide – the systematic extermination of an entire knowledge system or intellectual heritage of a group, society or people.
  • Mundicide – the destruction of a planet (mundus is Latin for "world").
  • Urbicide – the destruction of a city or the stifling of urbanisation (urbs is Latin for "city").

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsEurope/ItalyPopes.htm Papicide is used to describe Lord Matteo of Milan's charge of the attempted assassination of Pope John XXII
  2. ^ "magnicide", Wiktionary, the free dictionary, 2023-06-13, retrieved 2024-02-07

External links[edit]