massacre

noun
mas·​sa·​cre | \ ˈma-si-kər \

Definition of massacre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty witnessed the massacre of a boatload of refugees
2 : a cruel or wanton (see wanton entry 1 sense 1a) murder
3 : a wholesale slaughter of animals Residents engaged in a citywide cat massacre.
4 : an act of complete destruction the author's massacre of traditional federalist presuppositions— R. G. McCloskey the Puritan massacre of statues and pictures— Robert Hughes

massacre

verb
massacred; massacring\ ˈma-​si-​k(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of massacre (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to kill by massacre
2 : mangle sense 2 words were misspelled and syntax massacred— Bice Clemow

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Other Words from massacre

Verb

massacrer \ ˈma-​si-​kər-​ər , -​krər \ noun

Synonyms for massacre

Synonyms: Noun

bloodbath, butchery, carnage, death, holocaust, slaughter

Synonyms: Verb

butcher, mow (down), slaughter

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Examples of massacre in a Sentence

Noun

The game turned out to be a complete massacre. the infamous massacre of more than 200 Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota

Verb

Hundreds have been massacred in the uprising. The other team really massacred us on Saturday. He really massacred that song.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

State and local leaders have started talking about ways to protect Texas schoolchildren in the wake of last week's massacre at Santa Fe High School in which a student killed 10 people and wounded 13 others. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "Securing schools against gun violence could be costly," 23 May 2018 That's the highest number at this point in any year since 1999, the year of the Columbine High massacre. Anchorage Daily News, "Suspect confesses in Texas high school shooting that left 8 students, 2 teachers dead," 19 May 2018 La Porte resident Sarah Polley was in junior high school when the Columbine High School massacre occurred in 1999. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Parents on edge in Pasadena, La Porte school districts," 24 May 2018 The Katyn massacre is a shining example of Stalin’s tactic of offense as the best diplomatic defense. Jonathan W. Jordan, WSJ, "‘The Kremlin Letters’ and ‘The Allies’ Review: The View From the Summit," 30 Nov. 2018 In the initial days after the massacre, many rumors made their way into news reports. Tim Fitzsimons /, NBC News, "What really happened that night at Pulse," 12 June 2018 After the Port Said massacre, where 74 spectators were killed inside the stadium following clashes between rival fans, Bradley marched with the people in protest. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "World Cup Group A: Bob Bradley laid foundation for Egypt's first trip to World Cup in 28 years," 4 June 2018 If a deranged Trump fan were to get a gun and massacre Mueller’s entire team on the streets of Washington, for example, Trump would have the unquestionable legal authority to pardon the killer. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s talk of pardoning Manafort is a clear abuse of power," 29 Nov. 2018 Lobbying by executives helped limit sanctions after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and to win support for China’s WTO entry. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "‘Bring Me Tariffs’—How Trump and Xi Drove Their Countries to the Brink of a Trade War," 28 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When the Islamic Sate group swept into northern Iraq in 2014, the militants massacred thousands of Yazidi men and enslaved an estimated 7,000 women and girls. Sinan Salaheddin, The Seattle Times, "Nobel laureate returns to Iraq, pledges to work for peace," 12 Dec. 2018 Then, a gunman massacred 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. James Freeman, WSJ, "Pittsburgh and the Press," 30 Oct. 2018 The military has reportedly burned entire villages, massacred men, women, and children, and engaged in systematic rape. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 And 58 concert goers massacred, hundreds of people injured, and now Mandalay Bay is turning the tables on the Las Vegas victims. Fox News, "Browder 'appalled' by White House reaction to Putin request," 19 July 2018 The father massacred seven people; his boys killed five others. New York Times, "At the Heart of Indonesia Terror Attacks, a Well-Liked Family," 18 May 2018 No discriminatory intent should be inferred here; all over the place, in dioramas set up by dealers to pitch their sanguinary wares, soldiers of every nationality and ethnicity were massacring soldiers of every other nationality and ethnicity. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "These toy soldiers came ready to fight — but time is running out on their value," 28 Jan. 2018 Before the year was out, Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, rioting broke out during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and student demonstrators were massacred in Mexico City. New York Times, "Dystopia, Apocalypse, Culture War: 2018 or 1968?," 17 May 2018 Yet the plans have touched off a controversy with a proposal to make way for the renovation by moving the towering Katyn Memorial, a tribute to Polish soldiers massacred during World War II, that had been in the plaza since 1991. New York Times, "Jersey City Makes a Statement With Fireworks Over the Hudson," 3 July 2018

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

Noun

circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for massacre

Noun and Verb

Middle French

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Statistics for massacre

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for massacre

The first known use of massacre was circa 1578

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More Definitions for massacre

massacre

noun

English Language Learners Definition of massacre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the violent killing of many people

: a game or competition in which one person or team easily defeats another

massacre

verb

English Language Learners Definition of massacre (Entry 2 of 2)

: to violently kill (a group of people)

: to easily defeat (someone or something)

: to do (something) very badly : to ruin (something) because of lack of skill

massacre

noun
mas·​sa·​cre | \ ˈma-sə-kər \

Kids Definition of massacre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the violent and cruel killing of a large number of people

massacre

verb
massacred; massacring

Kids Definition of massacre (Entry 2 of 2)

: to kill a large number of people in a violent and cruel manner

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More from Merriam-Webster on massacre

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for massacre

Spanish Central: Translation of massacre

Nglish: Translation of massacre for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of massacre for Arabic Speakers

Comments on massacre

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