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

Horticulture is everywhere in the design, from tree branch chandeliers to wooden butcher-block tabletops, and plenty of seasonal flora on display. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Best Restaurants in Boston," 16 July 2018 It should be noted that La2 Mooshi sources its meat fresh from a halal butcher daily, but not all cuts are always available. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Dearborn's La2 Mooshi Grill melds Lebanese and Brazilian," 31 May 2018 The 601-square-foot unit includes a living room, kitchenette with butcher-block counters, bedroom, bathroom and laundry. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Get design ideas, budget tips: Tour of Remodeled Homes (before and after photos)," 27 Feb. 2018 The kitchen range and hood are by Thermador, the custom island is of cherry with an oak butcher-block countertop, the stools are by Christian Liaigre, the backsplash tiles are by Pewabic Pottery, and the pendant lights are by Niche. Peter Terzian, ELLE Decor, "House Tour: Ken Fulk Creates A Montana Guesthouse That's The Ultimate Winter Getaway," 17 Nov. 2016 This is a huge plus to grinding your own meat, Simon Ellery, owner of The Sausage Man Never Sleeps, a butcher shop in Berlin, tells SELF. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Grind Your Own Meat Without a Meat Grinder," 12 Mar. 2019 Nearby, Les Halles food market is a food festival — crammed with butchers, fishmongers, pastry specialists, cheese shops and colorful produce stands, with a mix of food stands and mini restaurants. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Loving Lyon: France’s culinary capital is off the tourist path," 20 Feb. 2019 The village has three little grocery stores, two bakeries, five bars, a pharmacy and a butcher, where beef can only be had by special order. Albion Land, WSJ, "If You’re Thinking About Retiring in Spain," 20 Nov. 2018 The little villages are just like a butcher, a baker, vegetables, a bar, and a church—although today there was an article about how there are fewer and fewer mayors in the little towns. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "Jane Fonda on the Joys of a Steady Job, Her Love of All Things French, and Why the Midterms Gave Her Hope," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Tables in every home were resplendently laid out with traditional Xinjiang dishes like homemade noodles, freshly butchered lamb and crispy nan bread. Yanan Wang And Dake Kang, Fox News, "Empty places at the table: Uighur children missing in China," 20 Sep. 2018 Now the Makah Nation is butchering the animal and preparing a feast. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Whale killed by ship near Neah Bay now a harvest celebration as Makah Nation prepares feast," 24 Aug. 2018 Multitool Eight more bifaces in the sample showed evidence of retouching that had partially covered old fire-striking wear, and some showed microscopic traces of wear from other tasks, like butchering animals or cutting up edible plants. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals used stone hand axes to strike a light," 26 July 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

17 May 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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