guillotine - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “guillotine”

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guillotine

noun uk   us   /ˈɡɪl.ə.tiːn/

guillotine noun (DEVICE)

[C or S] a device, invented in France, consisting of a sharp blade in a tall frame, used in the past for killing criminals by cutting off their heads: King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette went to the guillotine (= were killed by the guillotine) during the French Revolution. [C] UK a device with a long sharp blade that is used for cutting large quantities of paper

guillotine noun (LIMIT)

[C] UK specialized politics a limit on the amount of discussion allowed about a particular law in Parliament, made by setting a fixed time before a final vote must be taken

guillotine

verb [T] uk   us   /ˈɡɪl.ə.tiːn/

guillotine verb [T] (KILL)

to cut someone's head off using a guillotine: During the French Revolution, thousands of people were guillotined.

guillotine verb [T] (LIMIT)

UK specialized politics to set a fixed time before a final vote must be taken on a particular law in Parliament: The bill was guillotined at the committee stage.
(Definition of guillotine from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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