no·yade \(ˈ)nwä¦yäd, (ˈ)nwī¦äd\
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an execution by drowning : a mass drowning
- ‘Perhaps 1,800 perished altogether in the noyades, and their bodies were washed up on the tidal banks of the Loire for weeks afterwards.’
- ‘Although absent from the novel’s descriptive chain of images, the noyade makes itself known to the reader by scattered traces throughout the text.’
Did You Know?
The Drownings at Nantes (French: Noyades de Nantes) were a series of mass executions by drowning during the Reign of Terror in Nantes, France, that occurred between November 1793 and February 1794. During this period, anyone arrested and jailed for not consistently supporting the Revolution, or suspected of being a royalist sympathizer, especially Catholic priests and nuns, was cast into the Loire and drowned on the orders of Jean-Baptiste Carrier, the representative-on-mission in Nantes. Before the murders ceased, as many as four thousand or more people, including innocent families with women and children, died in what Carrier himself called “the national bathtub”.