Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Capable of, guilty of, or intending murder: a group of murderous thugs.
2. Characteristic of or giving rise to murder or bloodshed: murderous mistrust.
3. Informal Capable of devastating or overwhelming: a murderous exam.

mur′der·ous·ly adv.
mur′der·ous·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.murderousness - a bloodthirsty hatred arousing murderous impulses
hate, hatred - the emotion of intense dislike; a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action
2.murderousness - cruelty evidence by a capability to commit murder
cruelness, cruelty, harshness - the quality of being cruel and causing tension or annoyance
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The havoc wrought upon Syria during its long civil war -- a war unspeakable in its cruelty and irremediable suffering -- exposed the people to the murderousness and caprice of the inhuman: Hundreds of thousands killed, cities levelled to the ground and millions compelled to wander in search of refuge or to dwell in the open fields.
Consider the murderousness of your own spirit before you dare accuse others, and before you attempt to repair the fabric of the world.
The naked murderousness of US foreign policy, however, is still apparent.
The perversity and the disgusting ingredients of Gothic monsters, for instance, the murderousness of vampires, are increasingly moderated or garnished with appealing revaluations of life and vitality, in which the blood drinking is re-interpreted as a "blood exchange" and a "life-giving activity," one which provides an atypical opportunity of undergoing rebirth and re-establishing a sense of belonging, liveliness, and a link to life itself with less concentration on the abhorrent process than the embrace of care, involvement, and aliveness re-experienced via vampiric death facade and threshold (Wisker 2005, 230).
Yet the chimp evinces mental restraints that should put humans to the deepest moral shame and so temper down our specific conceit and intra-specific murderousness.
One would surely have expected more of his usual blarney about the innate superiority, the world-saving message and the you-have-to-break-some-eggs-to-make-an-omelet murderousness of Soviet communism.
The really frightening thing about Charles Manson was not so much his own murderousness (except from the standpoint of the people being murdered, of course), nor his hold over his insane Family, the cult murderers, but his acceptability and even his appeal to other people, the sane and high-minded and groovy bystanders.
A year later, he publicly debated notary Joseph-Edouard Plamondon following his 1910 venomous speech at a gathering of the Association Catholique de la Jeunesse Canadienne-Francaise in Quebec City denouncing Judaism and evoking no less than the blood libel as evidence of inherent murderousness of Jews everywhere.
Explaining his anti-Communism to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., he writes: "No doubt inoculation by the 1917 Revolution was in my case a dominant fact." He considered Stalin's murderousness not a departure but a natural continuation of the policies of Lenin.
Second, the Islamist movement appears to be strong and growing, spanning a wide range of tactics from the fanatical murderousness of the Islamic State's caliphate to the increasing authoritarianism of Turkey's elected President Erdogan.
I call on the Vice President to come this evening to visit those injured in the attacks which were carried out only today, and to see from up close the Palestinian murderousness."
Bakhtin draws on Shakespeare's tragedies, in which Lear's opening decision to divide his kingdom cannot be treated as foolish vanity of a demented old-man, nor Macbeth's murderousness as only juridical crimp Both are symbolic actions related to the crown and through crown to "the logic of any life, self-asserting and, therefore, antagonistic to change and renovation" ("Additions and Revisions" 85).