man·slaugh·ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər \

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 said the 14-year-old alleged shooter was charged with voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "14-year-old charged in fatal shooting; drugs found at scene land woman in jail," 13 July 2018 To avoid more prison time, Mitchell said, her client agreed, pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter and child abuse. Marisa Gerber,, "Judge orders release of woman who served 11 years behind bars in grandson's death," 12 July 2018 Loyola Law School's Project for the Innocent attorneys announced Wednesday that Mendez was released from prison late last month after pleading no contest to manslaughter and child abuse in the death of her grandson. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Great-grandmother released from prison due to new evidence, 11 years after conviction for killing her grandson," 12 July 2018 Yanez was charged with manslaughter and endangering Reynolds and her daughter but was acquitted of all charges. Dan Simmons,, "2 years after Philando Castile's death, programs aim to transform relations between police, residents," 8 July 2018 He has been charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with Kriener's death, troopers said. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Man charged with manslaughter, DUI after girlfriend run over by truck on Prince of Wales Island," 4 July 2018 The school also has terminated one employee who had been convicted of manslaughter and another who had pistol whipped someone in another state. Diana Lambert, sacbee, "Adult charter could lose state funds, face sanctions after state review finds questionable practices," 3 July 2018 Last week, eight alleged members of the Trinitarios street gang were charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and gang assault in connection to the slaying. CBS News, "Community holds prayer service, unveils mural for teen slain by gang," 2 July 2018 In May, a jury found Jesse Sutherland and Simeon Hall, both 16, guilty of manslaughter and two counts of battery. David Harris,, "Roger Trindade's mother writes letter critical of judge," 30 June 2018

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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Statistics for manslaughter

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for manslaughter

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

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English Language Learners Definition of manslaughter

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


man·slaugh·ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər \

Kids Definition of manslaughter

: the unintentional but unlawful killing of a person


man·slaugh·ter | \ ˈman-ˌslȯt-ər \

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 \

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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the setting in which something occurs

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