butcher

noun
butch·​er | \ ˈbu̇-chər How to pronounce butcher (audio) \

Definition of butcher

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

verb
butchered; butchering\ ˈbu̇ch-​riŋ How to pronounce butchering (audio) , ˈbu̇-​chə-​ \

Definition of butcher (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wooden butcher-block and soapstone can also be left unsealed, but may benefit from the periodic application of mineral oil. Tim Mckeough, New York Times, "The Kitchen Counter Challenge," 28 June 2019 McKinney’s father, Jose Quintana, was arrested in 2008 for using a butcher knife to force his wife, 5-year-old McKinney and the couple’s other two children into a car and driving away. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Court documents, social media depict tumultuous home life of 16-year-old suspect in STEM school shooting," 22 June 2019 Police had said Robinson approached them with a butcher knife. AZCentral.com, "Phoenix police shot at more people than NYPD did in 2018. Will that change?," 20 June 2019 However, since the surface isn't as smooth as, say, its butcher-block and concrete counterparts, tile can be tough to keep clean—especially the grout, which is quite porous. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Tile Countertops: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Should Know," 31 Jan. 2019 Kathryn sprung for concrete, a durable choice, but other options are a butcher-block counter paired with wood floors, or white marble counters with white tile floors. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "Kathryn M. Ireland's Kitchen Is A Treasure Trove Of Design Ideas," 22 Jan. 2019 The grill’s large, open hearth is behind a butcher-block counter that runs the length of the dining room, which has been dressed down to suit the casual concept. Providence Cicero, The Seattle Times, "Central Smoke’s Asian-accented, down-home barbecue adds fire and spice to chilly nights," 25 Oct. 2018 Walls of glass brighten the common spaces, which include a pair of dining areas and a kitchen with a butcher-block island. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "MedMen co-founder Andrew Modlin hashes out deal for modern home in WeHo," 10 July 2018 The Wirecutter found the rings when their review HomePod was placed on an oiled butcher-block counterop, and again on a wooden end table. Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle, "HomePod leaves white rings on some wood surfaces, reviewers say," 14 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pennsylvania Harrisburg: Legislation to help agriculture in the state is going into effect, including measures to foster younger farmers, help clean water going into Chesapeake Bay and expand butchering services for small farmers. USA TODAY, "Women in baseball, Lynyrd Skynyrd, circus fire: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 Researchers believe, for example, that bonobos, chimpanzees, and other primates spread HIV to people hunting or butchering them. Jani Actman, National Geographic, "What is bushmeat?," 19 June 2019 Songs are butchered, with an inexcusable amount of bum notes and out-of-step harmonies. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Review: ’Mamma Mia’ a crowded, loud party at CT Rep," 10 June 2019 Oftentimes, brands will use Italian fabrics but then make their clothes elsewhere, and in the end the fabrics look like they’ve been butchered! Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Cobra S.C. Are Making the Shirts—and Pants and Jackets—You'll Want to Wear Now," 1 Feb. 2019 The writing is crisp and funny, as Less navigates a comedic gauntlet of awkward, international social situations like unknowingly and relentlessly butchering a foreign language. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 In a world that seemed on the verge of forgetting how to do anything for itself, here were instructions about how to butcher a hog, build a cabin and distill moonshine. Max Watman, WSJ, "‘Travels With Foxfire’ Review: Like They Do in the Mountains," 16 Aug. 2018 But there is a right to life to erase for 50 million children butchered in the womb since 1973 Roe v. Wade. Fox News, "Gorka, Hollman preview Trump's upcoming summit with Putin," 30 June 2018 Customers are purchasing a whole animal for butchering, so the operation is not subject to USDA inspections, according to the owners. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Plans to open halal 'fresh meat' butcher shop near Aberdeen under review," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'butcher.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of butcher

Noun

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

Verb

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for butcher

Noun

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

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Statistics for butcher

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for butcher

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

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More Definitions for butcher

butcher

noun

English Language Learners Definition of butcher

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

butcher

verb

English Language Learners Definition of butcher (Entry 2 of 2)

: to kill (an animal) and prepare its meat for sale
: to kill (people or animals) in a brutal and cruel way
informal : to do (something) very badly : to make a mess of (something)

butcher

noun
butch·​er | \ ˈbu̇-chər How to pronounce butcher (audio) \

Kids Definition of butcher

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person whose business is killing animals for sale as food
2 : a dealer in meat
3 : a person who kills in large numbers or in a brutal manner

butcher

verb
butchered; butchering

Kids Definition of butcher (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to kill and prepare (an animal) for food
3 : to make a mess of : botch I let my mother cut my hair and she butchered it.

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More from Merriam-Webster on butcher

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for butcher

Spanish Central: Translation of butcher

Nglish: Translation of butcher for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of butcher for Arabic Speakers

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