Definition of euthanize in English:


transitive verb

(also British euthanise)
[with object]North American
  • usually be euthanizedPut (a living being, especially a dog or cat) to death humanely.

    ‘older dogs may find loving homes instead of being euthanized’
    • ‘A young, arrogant veterinarian unable to concentrate on the needs of animals hastily euthanizes an ill horse.’
    • ‘This story is about this woman who worked for the humane society and euthanized a stray cat.’
    • ‘In the United States, critically injured racehorses are humanely euthanized by lethal injection.’
    • ‘Sodium pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats in animal shelters.’
    • ‘Early on, they had been testing every cat for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, then euthanizing any cat with a positive result.’
    • ‘Rats were then euthanized with pentobarbital overdose.’
    • ‘None of the horses were euthanized after the accident.’
    • ‘After going unclaimed for ten days, the dog was euthanized.’
    • ‘Two Frederick County, Maryland, horses were euthanized recently after displaying symptoms of the disease.’
    • ‘Two horses were euthanized at Bay Meadows earlier this week apparently after contracting equine rhino tracheitis virus.’
    • ‘Statistics reveal that in the US almost 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually because there are no homes for them.’
    • ‘These dogs are either euthanized or the leg is wrapped and allowed to heal unset.’
    • ‘Subsequently, the rabbits were euthanized and the corneas harvested for microscopic examination.’
    • ‘After having consulted with several equine veterinarians and a human oncologist, the decision was reluctantly made to euthanize the horse.’
    • ‘The colt was so ill, the owner's insurance carrier agreed to pay off on a $200,000 policy if the decision was made to euthanize the horse.’
    • ‘Authorities impound and euthanize his pet tarantula.’
    • ‘Restorationists want to cut trees and euthanize deer.’
    • ‘Some, she says, grapple with the difficult question of whether it would be kinder to euthanize a pet than ask it to go on under such difficult circumstances.’
    • ‘More dogs were euthanised in Ireland than in England over the same period.’
    • ‘It is not the worst thing in the world for an animal to be humanely euthanized.’
    destroy, put to sleep, put out of its misery, put to death, kill



/ˈyo͞oTHəˌnīz/ /ˈjuθəˌnaɪz/


1970s formed irregularly from euthanasia+ -ize.