butcher

1 of 2

noun

butch·​er ˈbu̇-chər How to pronounce butcher (audio)
1
a
: a person who slaughters animals or dresses their flesh
b
: a dealer in meat
2
: one that kills ruthlessly or brutally
3
: one that bungles or botches
4
: a vendor especially on trains or in theaters

butcher

2 of 2

verb

butchered; butchering ˈbu̇ch-riŋ How to pronounce butcher (audio)
ˈbu̇-chə-

transitive verb

1
: to slaughter and dress for market
butcher hogs
2
: to kill in a barbarous manner
3
: botch
butchered the play

Examples of butcher in a Sentence

Noun the newest intern on the campaign is a butcher when it comes to writing press releases Verb They've hired someone to butcher the hogs. Many innocent people were butchered under his regime. The band has butchered my favorite song.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Bee will publish weekly updates on health inspections across Sacramento County. Sacramento County restaurants, butcher shop cited for health violations The following Sacramento County restaurants had violations the week of May 23 through May 29, resulting in a conditional pass. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 31 May 2024 In butcher shops, who are the guys in the back cleaning the fat off the beef? Max Greenwood, Miami Herald, 24 May 2024
Verb
There were no roads, yet people flocked to the cove, traveling over the icy landscape on foot or horseback—some from as far as 62 miles away—to help kill and butcher the whales. Andrew Chapman, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 May 2024 See it Evidence of wear on the bones, as well as the presence of stone tools, indicates hunter-gatherers butchered and ate the large mammals near the lake. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 23 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for butcher 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English bocher, from Anglo-French, from buc he-goat, probably of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Irish bocc he-goat — more at buck entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of butcher was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near butcher

Cite this Entry

“Butcher.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butcher. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

butcher

1 of 2 noun
butch·​er ˈbu̇ch-ər How to pronounce butcher (audio)
1
a
: one whose business is killing animals for sale as food
b
: a dealer in meat
2
: a person who kills in large numbers or in a brutal manner

butcher

2 of 2 verb
butchered; butchering -(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce butcher (audio)
1
: to slaughter and prepare for market
butcher hogs
2
: to kill in a barbarous manner : massacre
3
: to make a mess of : botch
butchered the performance

More from Merriam-Webster on butcher

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