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to cut off the head of; kill or execute by decapitation.
Geology. (of a pirate stream) to divert the headwaters of (a river, stream, etc.).
Contemporary Examples

When Khaled Saad answers his phone there is often a voice on the other end threatening to behead him.
Battle for the Sinai Sophia Jones July 14, 2013

Right now a young woman whose husband tried to behead her is recovering from her injuries in a Ghor hospital.
The Underground Educator Gayle Tzemach Lemmon March 4, 2010

I suspect the Brits used to behead people for lesser breaches of protocol.
The Power of Michelle Katty Kay April 28, 2009

They not only kill soldiers in battle, they behead them and burn them.
Iraqi Soldiers Bribe Officers So They Don’t Have to Fight ISIS Niqash October 7, 2014

Historical Examples

I would sooner hang or fry a hundred wretched burghers, or behead a score of knights, than touch this friar.
The House of Walderne A. D. Crake

There was a Thorpe among the judges who voted to behead him.
The Market-Place Harold Frederic

But if Paine was so fit for such a Convention, why should they behead him?
The Life Of Thomas Paine, Vol. II. (of II) Moncure Daniel Conway

Therefore, in order to realize the perfection, let us behead them.
Sophisms of the Protectionists Frederic Bastiat

There was a paddle at one end, with enough of an edge to behead a prawn, and the other end had been worked to a point.
Little Fuzzy Henry Beam Piper

Furious at the insult, he issued orders to behead all Jains.
Castes and Tribes of Southern India Edgar Thurston

(transitive) to remove the head from; decapitate

Old English beheafdian, from be-, here with privative force, + heafod (see head (n.)). Related: Beheaded; beheading.

a method of taking away life practised among the Egyptians (Gen. 40:17-19). There are instances of this mode of punishment also among the Hebrews (2 Sam. 4:8; 20:21,22; 2 Kings 10:6-8). It is also mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 14:8-12; Acts 12:2).


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