Garret vs garrote

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Garret and garrote are two words that are often confused. We will examine the differing definitions of garret and garrote, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A garret is a small room at the top of a house. A garret is a type of small attic that people may live in, though it is usually cramped and dismal. Undiscovered artists and other paupers are often depicted living in garrets. The word garret is derived from the French word garite which means watchtower or lookout.

A garrote is a rope, wire or cord that is used to strangle someone. Garrote is also used as a verb to mean to strangle someone with an implement such as a rope, wire or cord. Related words are garrotes, garroted, garroting. An acceptable alternative spelling is garotte. The word garrote is derived from the Spanish word garrote meaning a stick used to twist cord.


It’s a classic artist’s garret with peeling paint and poor lighting, and climbing the countless floors on a narrow stone tread, leaves me winded. (The Guardian)

Shortly before he left the NEH, Dr. Cole gave an extended interview to Humanities magazine in which he talked about the current concept of “the artist as a loner, a bohemian, somebody who lives in a garret, devotes his life to art.” (The Washington Post)

The initial incident report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigating the alleged homicide at the Lebanon Correctional Institution stated, “The victim inmate was found unresponsive in his cell with a garrotte around his neck at Lebanon Correctional Institution. (The Piqua Daily Call)

Chief Justice Misra said the High Court decision and her father’s “obstinate” attitude was an attempt to “garrotte her desire to live with the man with whom she has entered into wedlock.” (The Hindu)