electrocution

electrocution

[ih-lek-truh-kyoot]

Method of execution in which the condemned person is subjected to a heavy charge of electric current. The prisoner is shackled into a wired chair, and electrodes are fastened to the head and one leg so that the current will flow through the body. One electrical shock may not be enough to kill the person; if a doctor does not confirm the death, several shocks may be applied. The electric chair was first used in 1890. Electrocution also refers to death by other causes of electrical shock (e.g., accidental contact with high-voltage wiring).

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The term electrocution can mean either:

Electrocution is also frequently used incorrectly to refer to a non-fatal electric shock.

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