ab·​at·​toir ˈa-bə-ˌtwär How to pronounce abattoir (audio)
plural abattoirs
: a place where animals are butchered : slaughterhouse
Mr. Foley worked previously at a pig abattoir and reckoned he was beyond such queasiness.Tony Horwitz
Bulls are precious, a good one fetching $400 or more at the abattoirPeter Meredith

Examples of abattoir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just as creepy to me was the mural on the Farmer John slaughterhouse in Vernon, a bucolic panorama of happy piglets gamboling with kids and sleeping under shady trees — a gory dissonance to the daily assembly-line killing of thousands of pigs inside the abattoir. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2023 Now that Congress has created one, the drug companies are squealing like pigs being led to the abattoir. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2023 Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren and others donated money and time so that the two were spared a trip to the abattoir and instead went to animal advocacy group Farm Sanctuary, which runs a 40-acre rescue ranch in Acton, on the edge of the Antelope Valley. Gustavo Arellano, Star Tribune, 22 July 2021 When a beloved cow stops being useful to the herd, it’s taken to the abattoir for slaughter. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2022 In the evenings, people gather at bars such as Salhane, a former abattoir painted a hue of lemon-yellow that faces both sea and castle, to enjoy glasses of local wine or a few cocktails. CNN, 4 Nov. 2022 Austrian farmers can butcher their own meat—their cows are calm and content right up until the end—but in Germany the animals must be transported to the abattoir. Ann Abel, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Would a vegan commune be happy about building an abattoir? Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2021 The study, published in the scientific journal Frontiers on Friday, looked at samples of rumen from Alpine cows in an abattoir in Austria. Sara Spary, CNN, 2 July 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abattoir.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, from stem of abattre "to strike down, slaughter" + -oir -ory entry 1 — more at abate

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abattoir was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near abattoir

Cite this Entry

“Abattoir.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abattoir. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ab·​at·​toir ˈab-ə-ˌtwär How to pronounce abattoir (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on abattoir

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