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Meaning of guillotine

guil•lo•tine

Pronunciation: (gil'u-tēn", gē'u- esp. for v. gil"u-tēn', gē"u-), [key]
— n., v., -tined, -tin•ing.
—n.
  1. a device for beheading a person by means of a heavy blade that is dropped between two posts serving as guides: widely used during the French Revolution.
  2. an instrument for surgically removing the tonsils.
  3. any of various machines in which a vertical blade between two parallel uprights descends to cut or trim metal, stacks of paper, etc.
—v.t.
  1. to behead by the guillotine.
  2. to cut with or as if with a guillotine.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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