butch·​ery | \ ˈbu̇ch-rē How to pronounce butchery (audio) , ˈbu̇-chə- \
plural butcheries

Definition of butchery

1 chiefly British : slaughterhouse
2 : the preparation of meat for sale
3 : cruel and ruthless slaughter of human beings
4 : botch

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of butchery in a Sentence

the butchery of civilians during the war butchery on a scale that horrified the civilized world
Recent Examples on the Web The song lyrics feature sailors harpooning a whale and hoisting it to the ship for butchery. New York Times, "Everyone’s Singing Sea Shanties (or Are They Whaling Songs?)," 13 Jan. 2021 Several chapters contrasting butchery techniques (Italian cattle versus Kosher rituals) in the context of dispatching a longtime lover conclude with a cold point. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Salt, fat, acid, humans: A tangy new entry in the cannibal lit canon," 16 Dec. 2020 And in coffee and tea houses, an organic butchery, a plant nursery, a church or two, Orlando International Airport and at the aspoonfullofhope.org website. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "Buying beer to help feed the hungry — and other holiday shopping ideas," 4 Dec. 2020 The news media record a daily litany of butchery — massacres in bars and drug-rehab facilities, abductions, shootouts, armed robberies. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, "This reporter went to cover a homicide in Mexico. Then he became a victim," 4 Dec. 2020 The Tavern at Zaca Creek, set on a historic property in Buellton, features an onsite Fullblood Wagyu butchery, craft cocktail program, wine cellar, and extensive spirits and liqueurs selection. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "This Must-visit California Region Has World-class Wine, Glamping, Horseback Riding, and Stunning Hikes," 30 Nov. 2020 Neither Lenin nor Stalin exercised power before the October 1917 revolution — and the unanswered question is why Stalin, after rising to the apex of party leadership in the 1920s, would come to stun the U.S.S.R. with his penchant for human butchery. Robert Service, Washington Post, "Did Stalin’s rise to power foretell the butchery that came next?," 30 Oct. 2020 Though the site may have once been a fruitful hunting ground, researchers found no stone tools or animal bones bearing the telltale marks of butchery. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Human Footprints Found in Saudi Arabia May Be 120,000 Years Old," 21 Sep. 2020 Full-service, whole-animal butchery will remain central, as will the eatery’s popular menu fixtures (Medium-Rare Burger fans need not panic). Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Meats relocating to Winter Park in 2021," 5 Oct. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of butchery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about butchery

Time Traveler for butchery

Time Traveler

The first known use of butchery was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for butchery

Last Updated

31 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Butchery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butchery. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for butchery



English Language Learners Definition of butchery

: the violent and cruel killing of many people
: the work of a butcher : the job of preparing meat for sale

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on butchery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for butchery

Britannica English: Translation of butchery for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about butchery

Comments on butchery

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!