man·​slaugh·​ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər How to pronounce manslaughter (audio) \

Definition of manslaughter

: the unlawful killing of a human being without express or implied malice

Examples of manslaughter in a Sentence

She was convicted of manslaughter for driving while drunk and killing three people.
Recent Examples on the Web Police arrested 57-year-old Max Leroy Townsend on one count of first-degree manslaughter and six counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident, KOCO reported. Fox News, "Oklahoma student-athlete killed when driver strikes 6 cross-country runners during practice, officials say," 5 Feb. 2020 Police arrested Townsend, 56, on complaints of first-degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of an injury accident. Tim Willert And Josh Dulaney, USA TODAY, "One student killed, five hurt after truck hits high school cross-country team," 4 Feb. 2020 Keith was subsequently arrested for intoxication manslaughter and is currently being held on a $50,000 bond at the Fort Bend County Jail. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Alleged drunk driving crash kills Harley Davidson rider outside Richmond," 27 Jan. 2020 He was later found guilty of manslaughter and first-degree attempted murder. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "A look inside Fertility Inc.," 23 Jan. 2020 Katryce Anita Curd, 27, was ordered held in the Macomb County Jail on a $250,000 bond on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and two counts of felony firearms offenses, the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office said. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Clinton Township woman charged in shooting death of her child's father," 22 Jan. 2020 Pearce was indicted two months after the fire on charges of second-degree manslaughter and second-degree child neglect. oregonlive, "Stayton mom faces more serious charge of ‘extreme indifference’ in death of son, 2," 17 Jan. 2020 Britnea Myers was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to twenty years in 2013, after stabbing her husband, Timothy, outside Mobile. Elizabeth Flock, The New Yorker, "How Far Can Abused Women Go to Protect Themselves?," 13 Jan. 2020 Johnson had been indicted in 2018 on charges of manslaughter and first-degree assault. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Shoals man pleads guilty in deadly ATV crash," 11 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'manslaughter.' 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 manslaughter

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for manslaughter

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for manslaughter

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Manslaughter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for manslaughter


How to pronounce manslaughter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of manslaughter

law : the crime of killing a person without intending to do so


man·​slaugh·​ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər How to pronounce manslaughter (audio) \

Kids Definition of manslaughter

: the unintentional but unlawful killing of a person


man·​slaugh·​ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯt-ər How to pronounce manslaughter (audio) \

Medical Definition of manslaughter

: the slaying of a human being specifically : the unlawful killing of a human being without express or implied malice

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man·​slaugh·​ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər How to pronounce manslaughter (audio) \

Legal Definition of manslaughter

: the unlawful killing of a human being without malice — compare homicide, murder
involuntary manslaughter
: manslaughter resulting from the failure to perform a legal duty expressly required to safeguard human life, from the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, or from the commission of a lawful act involving a risk of injury or death that is done in an unlawful, reckless, or grossly negligent manner — see also reckless homicide at homicide

Note: The exact formulation of the elements of involuntary manslaughter vary from state to state especially with regard to the level of negligence required. In states that grade manslaughter by degrees, involuntary manslaughter is usually graded as a second- or third-degree offense.

: involuntary manslaughter occurring during the commission of a misdemeanor — compare felony murder at murder
voluntary manslaughter
: manslaughter resulting from an intentional act done without malice or premeditation and while in the heat of passion or on sudden provocation

Note: In states that grade manslaughter by degrees, voluntary manslaughter is usually a first-degree offense.

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