massacre

noun
mas·​sa·​cre | \ ˈma-si-kər How to pronounce massacre (audio) \

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 How to pronounce massacring (audio) \

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 How to pronounce massacrer (audio) , -​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

Despite those revelations, no state troopers involved in the massacre were ever indicted, much less convicted of any crimes. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "The Attica Prison Riot in 1971 Serves as a Reminder of the Dangers of a Failing Prison System," 13 Sep. 2018 Lisa McNulty, whose daughter Tara McNulty was killed in the massacre, was particularly concerned about how money would be distributed to surviving family members. Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "Sutherland Springs receives millions in donations to massacre relief fund," 8 July 2018 Neil Heslin, the father of Jesse Lewis, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah Pozner died in the massacre, filed separate lawsuits late Monday in Travis County, Texas. David Altimari, latimes.com, "Two Sandy Hook families sue Alex Jones and Infowars for saying the school massacre never happened," 18 Apr. 2018 Neil Heslin, the father of Jesse Lewis, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah Pozner died in the massacre, filed separate lawsuits late Monday in Travis County, Texas. The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Sandy Hook families file lawsuit against Alex Jones, Infowars," 17 Apr. 2018 Conspiracy theorists had claimed that the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Conn., had been staged by the government. Moving Upstream, WSJ, "Online Harassment: How Victims Are Fighting Back," 22 Oct. 2018 The Eagles paid tribute to the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 massacre on the Parkland, Fla. campus, with the number 17 displayed on the field and on every player’s helmet. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Parkland high school wins first home football game since deadly shooting," 9 Sep. 2018 The state created the Aaron Feis Guardian program this year as part of a series of school safety measures enacted in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. Scott Travis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Most applying to be Broward armed guardians fail to meet qualifications," 13 July 2018 The Road to Change Tour is part of the March For Our Lives movement, which was ignited by the student survivors of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "500 attend Parkland students' town hall in Milwaukee on Road to Change tour," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 1944, German forces massacred 642 residents of the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 9 June 2018 Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old former student who returned on Valentine’s Day to massacre his former classmates, had problems with mental illness. Mary Ellen Klas And Elizabeth Koh, miamiherald, "‘Our message is very simple. Never again.’ Douglas High students march on Tallahassee," 21 Feb. 2018 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

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

14 Mar 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
informal : 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)
informal : 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 How to pronounce massacre (audio) \

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

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