A garrote or garrote vil (a Spanish word; alternative spellings include garotte and garrotte) is a handheld weapon, most often referring to a ligature of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle someone. The term especially refers to an execution device but is sometimes used in assassination, because it can be completely silent. In addition, the garrote is used by some military units. The garrote was employed in Thuggee, whose practitioners used a yellow scarf called a Rumaal. A garrote can be made out of many different materials, including ropes, tie wraps, fishing lines, nylon, and even guitar strings, telephone cord and piano wire.
Some incidents have involved a stick used to tighten the garrote; the Spanish name actually refers to that very rod, so it is a pars pro toto where the eponymous component may actually be absent. In Spanish, the name can also be applied to a rope and stick used to compress a member as a torture device or to reanimate the victim.