An instrument for inflicting capital punishment by decapitation, so named from Joseph Ignace Guillotin, a French physician who proposed its adoption to prevent unnecessary pain. It was first used in the Place de Greve, 25 April, 1792. Similar instruments had been in use in other countries from the 13th century. Cp. Maiden

From Wizards of the Coast, it's "The revolutionary card game where you win by getting a head."

The game takes place during the French Revolution. Players are rival guillotine operators, collecting the heads of the Paris nobles. Nobles are worth different point values (Marie Antoinette is worth 5, but the lowly Piss Boy is only worth 1.)

The Disneyesque art belies the grim theme. It's got some historical accuracy, too - beheading Robespierre ends the game.

It's a very simple variant of Magic: the Gathering that can be learned quickly, but the many "action cards" that reorder the nobles keep the game fresh after repeated playing. I recommend it!

Dr Joseph Ignace Guillotin had spent most of his fifty years healing people when he came up with the idea that made him famous.

In 1789, at the height of the French Revolution, Guillotin suggested using a machine to behead criminals. His idea was based on the idea that now that privilege had been abandoned, even poor people should have the opportunity to die by beheading. Until the Revolution such a fate had been reserved to the nobility. Guillotin also felt death should be as swift and painless as possible.

His idea was taken up with alacrity by the Revolution. The first execution using a guillotine, as the machine was called, was carried out on 25 April, 1792. As the Revolution gained momentum, thousands were sent to their deaths on the guillotine. Though undoubtedly efficient as a killing machine, the guillotine never found much favour outside France (except, apparently, in Belgium, where it was the form of execution until mid-World War I -- Thanks NotBridgetJones).

Guil"lo*tine` (?), n. [F., from Guillotin, a French physician, who proposed, in the Constituent Assembly of 1789, to abolish decapitation with the ax or sword. The instrument was invented by Dr. Antoine Louis, and was called at first Louison or Louisette. Similar machines, however, were known earlier.]

1.

A machine for beheading a person by one stroke of a heavy ax or blade, which slides in vertical guides, is raised by a cord, and let fall upon the neck of the victim.

2.

Any machine or instrument for cutting or shearing, resembling in its action a guillotine.

 

© Webster 1913.


Guil"lo*tine` (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Guillotined (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Guillotining.] [Cf. F. guillotiner.]

To behead with the guillotine.

 

© Webster 1913.

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