[ek-si-kyoo-shuh-ner] /ˌɛk sɪˈkyu ʃə nər/

an official who inflicts capital punishment in pursuance of a legal warrant.
a person who an act, will, judgment, etc.
an official charged with carrying out the death sentence passed upon a condemned person
an assassin, esp one appointed by a political or criminal organization

“headsman,” 1560s; “one who carries into effect,” 1590s; agent noun from execution.

(Mark 6:27). Instead of the Greek word, Mark here uses a Latin word, speculator, which literally means “a scout,” “a spy,” and at length came to denote one of the armed bodyguard of the emperor. Herod Antipas, in imitation of the emperor, had in attendance on him a company of speculatores. They were sometimes employed as executioners, but this was a mere accident of their office. (See MARK, GOSPEL OF.)


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