Skip to main content

Loaded Word

June 2024
1min read


In the enlightening interview “The Shah Always Falls” (February/March 2003), Ralph Peters, when asked about the prohibition of assassination, said it is a loaded word, and also said that we don’t have a better one. However, in my 1935 edition of Webster ’s Twentieth Century Dictionary , I happened upon a word that has fallen out of usage and which could be revived: “tyrannicide, n. (L. tyrannus, tyrant, and caedere, to slay) 1. The act of killing a tyrant. 2. One who kills a tyrant.”

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.

Donate