The Meaning of Sicario: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been curious about the definition of sicario? This article will provide you with all of the info you need on the word sicario, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word sicario mean?

According to Collins Dictionary and Word Sense, the word sicario is a Spanish word that means a hitman or a hired killer. This word is especially used in reference to Latin American and Mexican drug cartels. This term is used in many different Spanish speaking countries throughout Latin America to refer to someone who is a hired killer, or someone who is paid a great sum of money to either kill someone or to capture them and bring them in for payback.

According to Word Sense, there are many different ways that one can refer to a hit man in many different languages. Many of these have Latin roots similar to the English assassin, while others do not. It is amazing how many different ways there are to refer to a hit man in different languages all around the world!

  • Russian: наёмный уби́йца‎ (masc.), ки́ллер‎ (masc.)
  • Polish: płatny zabójca‎ (masc.), cyngiel‎ (masc.) (slang)
  • Spanish: asesino a sueldo‎ (masc.)
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 殺手‎, 杀手‎ (shāshǒu), 合約殺手‎, 合约杀手‎ (héyuē shāshǒu)
  • Hungarian: bérgyilkos‎
  • Italian: sicario‎ (masc.), killer‎ (masc.)
  • French: tueur à gages‎ (masc.), sicaire‎ (masc.)
  • Swedish: yrkesmördare‎ (common)
  • Romanian: killer‎ (masc.), asasin‎ (masc.), ucigaș‎ (masc.), sicar‎ (masc.)
  • Icelandic: leigumorðingi‎ (masc.)
  • Norwegian: leiemorder‎ (masc.)
  • Finnish: palkkamurhaaja‎, ammattitappaja‎
  • German: Auftragsmörder‎ (masc.), Auftragsmörderin‎ (fem.), Killer‎ (masc.), Killerin‎ (fem.)
  • Dutch: huurmoordenaar‎ (masc.), huurdoder‎ (masc.)
  • Japanese: 殺し屋‎ (ころしや, koroshiya), ヒットマン‎ (hittoman), キラー‎ (kirā)
  • Portuguese: assassino de aluguel‎ (masc.), sicário‎ (masc.)
  • Czech: nájemný vrah‎ (masc.)
  • Danish: lejemorder‎, snigmorder‎

According to IMDb and Fandom, the word sicario is often used to refer to the film series of the same name. The first film in the series, Sicario, came out in the year 2015. This American crime thriller film was directed by Denis Villeneuve and was written by screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. The film stars Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick, Emily Blunt as Kate Macer, and Josh Brolin as Matt Grave. It follows an FBI agent who is enlisted by a US government task force in order to aid in the war against drugs at the border of the United States and Mexico. This film competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and was released by Lionsgate in theaters nationwide. There is also a second film in the series entitled Sicario 2: Soldado or sometimes Sicario: Day of the Soldado. This film was released in June of 2018 and follows Benicio del Toro’s character and Josh Brolin’s character as they team up again to battle against the drug war at the border of Mexico and the United States. The second film in the series was also written by Taylor Sherican, but was directed by Stefano Sollima.

What is the etymology of the word sicario?

According to Word Sense and Etymologeek, the word sicario is Latin in origin. The word sicario comes from the Latin sicarius, which comes from the Latin root “sica” meaning dagger and the word forming element “arius,” which is used to form nouns. In Latin, a sica is a curved dagger or the edge of a boar’s tusk.  There are many different forms of the Latin word sicarius:

  • dative: sing. sīcāriō, pl. sīcāriīs
  • genitive: sing. sīcāriī, pl. sīcāriorum
  • nominative: sing. sīcārius, pl. sīcāriī
  • ablative: sing. sīcāriō, pl. sīcāriīs
  • vocative: sing. sīcārie, pl. sīcāriī
  • accusative: sing. sīcārium, pl. sīcāriōs

How can the word sicario be used in a sentence?

The word sicario can be used to refer to the film series starring EMly Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, but can also be used amongst many Spanish speakers to refer to a hitman or assassin. In this example, Maria met a guy at a bar whom she fell in love with but she doesn’t think she’ll ever find him again. Thankfully, Lucia is an excellent internet sleuth.

Lucía: Su nombre completo es Roberto Gonzales. Trabaja en la escuela primaria en Palm Street y tiene dos hermanas, un hermano y fue el cuidador de su madre hasta que ella falleció el año pasado. Aquí está su número de teléfono.

(Lucia: His full name is Roberto Gonzales. He works at the elementary school on Palm Street, and he has two sisters, one brother, and acted as a caretaker for his mother until she passed away last year. Here’s his phone number.)

María: Dios mío, Lucía. No puedo creer que hayas encontrado todo esto. Deberías trabajar para el FBI. O ser un sicario, o algo así.

(Maria: Oh my God, Lucia. I can’t believe you found all this. You should work for the FBI. Or be a hitman, or something.)

Lucía: Gracias, muchas gracias.

(Lucia: Thank you, thank you very much.)

What are synonyms for the word sicario?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word sicario. These are considered synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. One might choose to use a synonym for the word sicario if the person they are talking to does not speak Spanish or if the person is unfamiliar with the film series, or they might choose to use a synonym to avoid repeating themselves or in order to expand their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word sicario is provided by Thesaurus.

  • slayer
  • guerrilla
  • gun
  • piece person
  • liquidator
  • dropper
  • clipper
  • enforcer
  • soldier
  • hit person
  • assassin
  • eliminator
  • trigger person
  • executioner
  • butcher
  • gun person
  • torpedo
  • hatchet person
  • killer
  • plugger

Overall, the word sicario is a Spanish term for a hired hitman or contract killer. This term is used throughout Latin America to refer to a hit man or assassin and is also the name of a popular film series starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. The film series follows a battle between US government agents and the Mexican drug cartel at the border of the United States and Mexico. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/assassin
  2. https://etymologeek.com/lat/sicarius
  3. https://www.wordsense.eu/sicarius/#Latin
  4. https://www.wordsense.eu/sicario/
  5. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/sicario
  6. https://www.wordsense.eu/hitman/
  7. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3397884/
  8. https://sicario.fandom.com/wiki/Sicario