Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

butcher

play
noun butch·er \ˈbu̇-chər\

Simple Definition of butcher

  • : someone who cuts and sells meat in a shop

  • : someone who kills animals and prepares their meat to be eaten

  • : a shop that sells meat

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of butcher

  1. 1 a :  a person who slaughters animals or dresses their flesh b :  a dealer in meat

  2. 2 :  one that kills ruthlessly or brutally

  3. 3 :  one that bungles or botches

  4. 4 :  a vendor especially on trains or in theaters

Examples of butcher in a sentence

  1. <the newest intern on the campaign is a butcher when it comes to writing press releases>



Origin of butcher

Middle English bocher, from Anglo-French, from buc he-goat, probably of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Irish bocc he-goat — more at buck


First Known Use: 13th century


2

butcher

verb, butch·er

Simple Definition of butcher

  • : to kill (an animal) and prepare its meat for sale

  • : to kill (people or animals) in a brutal and cruel way

  • : to do (something) very badly : to make a mess of (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of butcher

butcheredbutchering play \ˈbu̇ch-riŋ, ˈbu̇-chə-\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to slaughter and dress for market <butcher hogs>

  3. 2 :  to kill in a barbarous manner

  4. 3 :  botch <butchered the play>

Examples of butcher in a sentence

  1. They've hired someone to butcher the hogs.

  2. Many innocent people were butchered under his regime.

  3. The band has butchered my favorite song.



1562

First Known Use of butcher

1562



BUTCHER Defined for Kids

1

butcher

play
noun butch·er \ˈbu̇-chər\

Definition of butcher for Students

  1. 1 :  a person whose business is killing animals for sale as food

  2. 2 :  a dealer in meat

  3. 3 :  a person who kills in large numbers or in a brutal manner




2

butcher

play
verb butch·er

Definition of butcher for Students

butcheredbutchering

  1. 1 :  to kill and prepare (an animal) for food

  2. 2 :  2massacre

  3. 3 :  to make a mess of :  botch <I let my mother cut my hair and she butchered it.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up butcher? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe reduce perplex disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ