For instance, a gun, a rope, or the like. What's the common way of referring to them? Assuming the suicide attempt of the person who used them was successful?

Example sentence:

We kept grandpa's shotgun in the garage. We never imagined that it'd become Tommy's [...] one day.

  • One might call it a murder weapon. Or a self-murder weapon?
    – ermanen
    Jan 6, 2015 at 2:20

3 Answers 3


Means is very commonly used as to the method of suicide, in such cases as studying whether there is a link between availability of means and likelihood of attempts. (Last I read there was; potential suicides have a set of acceptable means and removing a means will lead to a drop in attempts because, but I'm not current on that at all).

Generally it refers to the general approach (e.g. "hanging") but it can also apply to more specific details.

This doesn't fit the one-word requirement of your question well. Your example sentence would have to be rephrased to something like "…it'd become the means of Tommy's suicide one day."

(While it would be reasonable to consider weapon, as such objects are literally such, that choice would probably be particularly poor because "suicide weapon" is often used to mean a weapon used to kill others in a suicide attack, like a kaiten or a bomb vest).

  • Thanks. The only thing I could come up with was "instrument of death."
    – wyc
    Jan 6, 2015 at 2:13
  • You know, I think "…become the instrument of Tommy's death" might be better a lot of the time; it's not as to-the-point, but then that is how we tend to talk about such matters anyway.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 6, 2015 at 2:26
  • Not to go too far off-topic, but easy availability of firearms in the USA is most definitely correlated with successful suicide attempts. Jan 6, 2015 at 7:49

Instrument - the instrument of his/her demise. Or perhaps in certain scenarios, 'the method'.

  • 1
    +1. Or implement. Of course neither fits something like sleeping pills or jumping off a bridge. ;-)
    – Drew
    Jan 6, 2015 at 5:39

Euphemism might be a nice tool in this case.

'Escape route,' or 'exit strategy' have that sort of feeling to them. They're also slightly less unfeeling than the literal statement 'instrument/means of suicide.'

As always, the context will dictate the appropriate word/phrase.

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