Lynch



to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.
John (“Jack”) 1917–1999, Irish political leader: prime minister 1966–73, 1977–79.
Contemporary Examples

It was a culmination, that election, of two generations of political struggle, and lynch was the culminator.
Bill Lynch, the Culminator Michael Tomasky August 11, 2013

But Dinkins had hired this guy lynch, who had run local campaigns in Harlem going back to the 1970s.
Bill Lynch, the Culminator Michael Tomasky August 11, 2013

One question was why lynch did not think this was also true of cops who turned their backs earlier on Sunday.
Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss Michael Daly January 4, 2015

And who, if not Avnon or someone like him, does lynch imagine will successfully do that work?
Sydney’s ‘Blind To The Person’ BDS Sigal Samuel December 11, 2012

Some of the images certainly feel contrived, but lynch succeeds in finding grace in these industrial landscapes.
David Lynch Goes From Film to Photos with ‘The Factory Photographs’ Nico Hines January 21, 2014

Historical Examples

The court of Judge lynch makes mistakes occasionally, but it rarely admits of an appeal from its decision.
Mississippi Outlaws and the Detectives Allan Pinkerton

lynch rode slightly behind him and was out of the line of vision.
Shoe-Bar Stratton Joseph Bushnell Ames

And in not a few cases violence and lynch law were applied to officers who had been, in former days, hard taskmakers.
The Story of the Great War, Volume VII (of VIII) Various

Dead silence followed, and every eye was again riveted on lynch.
The Clansman Thomas Dixon

Judge lynch usually presides, and he is a stern fellow to deal with.
The Golden Dream R.M. Ballantyne

verb
(transitive) (of a mob) to punish (a person) for some supposed offence by hanging without a trial
noun
David. born 1946, US film director; his work includes the films Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), Mulholland Drive (2001), and Inland Empire (2006), and the television series Twin Peaks (1990)
John, known as Jack Lynch. 1917–99, Irish statesman; prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1966–73; 1977–79)
v.

1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Virginia, who c.1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-1796) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his district c.1782, but the connection to him is less likely. Originally any sort of summary justice, especially by flogging; narrowing of focus to “extralegal execution by hanging” is 20c. Lynch mob is attested from 1838. The surname is perhaps from Irish Loingseach “sailor.” Cf. earlier Lydford law, from a place in Dartmoor, England, “where was held a Stannaries Court of summary jurisdiction” [Weekley], hence:

Lydford law: is to hang men first, and indite them afterwards. [Thomas Blount, “Glossographia,” 1656]

Related: Lynched; lynching.

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