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

So the judge dismisses them and the D.A. offers a deal in lieu of another trial: time served in juvie if Archie pleads guilty to manslaughter. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 1: Does Archie Go to Jail?," 11 Oct. 2018 Jerry Darnell Glidewell, then 16, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in January 1960 and served less than a year in state prison. Emily Wagster Pettus, Fox News, "Mississippi could re-examine 1959 racial killing of teenager," 21 Aug. 2018 But last week, after Allen died of his injuries on June 16, her charge was upgraded to intoxication manslaughter. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Wrong-way driver faces new charges after a June 2 crash victim dies," 24 June 2018 Lemus pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and earlier this month was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Kristina Davis,, "Fentanyl has taken over America's drug market. Where is it coming from?," 17 June 2018 Nearly all of the other suspects admitted some responsibility in the attack, including Irwin, who avoided a murder charge by pleading guilty to manslaughter and assault and was sentenced to 12 years. Chris Harris,, "Leaving a Cult: Former Members Reveal Inner Workings of Church Whose Members Attacked 2 Teens," 16 June 2018 On May 22 this year, Oliver pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was formally sentenced on June 8. Abby Lynes,, "Teen gets 12 years in prison for manslaughter," 9 June 2018 At 36-years-old, Williams pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice. Monique Judge, The Root, "Innocent Man Who Served 20 Years For a Crime He Didn't Commit Forced to Take Plea Deal In Exchange For His Freedom," 30 May 2018 Wittenberns has pleaded not guilty to DUI manslaughter and other serious charges. Marc Freeman,, "Aftermath of deadly Lamborghini crash: Lawsuits, charges and fight over fault," 6 Apr. 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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Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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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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to gather or build up little by little

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