The word infanticide means:

killing of babies: the practice of killing newborn babies

Is there an equivalent term for killing the elderly?

  • 1
    I would like to formally note that this question has absolutely nothing to do with traditional holiday gatherings.
    – MrHen
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 3:06

2 Answers 2


The word you are looking for is one of either:

  • senicide — as in senior, senile, senectitude, senescence, senate, senator
  • geronticide — as in gerontocracy, ˌgerontologist, gerontophilia, gerontophobe

Quoth Wikipedia:

Senicide or geronticide is the abandonment to death, suicide, or killing of the elderly.

Apparently senicide was preferred until the middle part of the past century, but now geronticide has caught up and surpassed it, being now preferred by about 3 to 1.

See this Google Ngram:

Google n-gram of senicide, geronticide, and the so-called but non-existent geriatricide



from geriatric meaning pertaining to the elderly.

Geronticide does not appear to be current, (I found it in several dictionaries, but not in any news) whereas geriatricide is hitting headlines left and right.

Searching my browser cache I find these instances (not complete):

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    Geriater actually means "curer/doctor of old people", from iatêr "doctor", from iaomai "I cure". archimedes.fas.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/…archimedes.fas.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/… Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 4:50
  • @Cerberus Geriatricide comes from geriatric, "Of or relating to the aged or to characteristics of the aging process." - I've seen it pretty often as well
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 9:26
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    @Izkata: That definition is only correct in the context of medicine (where healing is included), or mockery, or perhaps colloquialism (so of a far lower register than genocide). Notice how the relevant definitions below have (Medicine). Derived senses are possible, but not to the extent of using it to express the opposite of what medicine does. It comes from old + cure. Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 10:23
  • @Cerberus Only 1 of the 3 dictionaries listed use the "medicine" qualifier. That word has already become more general than it originally was.
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 17:04
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    @Izkata: Definitely not as part of a compound meaning the opposite of its true meaning and in the higher registers. Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 17:08

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