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

Hope has not died,’ say Chinese dissidents The Tiananmen massacre of 1989 did more than quell protests; the ensuing crackdown froze China’s pro-democracy movement for years to come. Christian Science Monitor, "World | Asia Pacific," 7 June 2019 Headey's iconic villain finally met her end in this week's episode, perishing with her brother Jaime in the Red Keep under falling rubble during Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) massacre of King's Landing. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lena Headey Responds to Cersei's Big Moment with the Perfect Instagram Tribute," 14 May 2019 Correction posted on July 14, 2010 The original version of the story stated a single number for the estimate of the size of the 1937 massacre of Haitians the Dominican Republic rather than the range of estimates for the number killed. The Christian Science Monitor, "Corrections," 4 Mar. 2019 Prosecutors charged that Slatten, of Sparta, Tennessee, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. NBC News, "Former Blackwater security contractor sentenced to life in Iraq shootings," 14 Aug. 2019 While some have been driven to protest and anger at the government’s inaction to the massacres of civilians, the latest in El Paso and Dayton; others have been driven to prayer and peacemaking. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio joined Compassionate and Sister Cities in prayer and in tears," 13 Aug. 2019 The mosque earlier this year implemented extra security measures following the massacre of more than 50 people at two New Zealand mosques. Washington Post, "World Digest: Aug. 10, 2019," 10 Aug. 2019 Everybody is nervous about how this is going to end, but few expect an outcome as brutal as the massacre of hundreds and maybe thousands of citizens. The Economist, "Chinese troops must stay off the streets of Hong Kong," 8 Aug. 2019 Or, that the El Paso attack, the California synagogue shooting, and the massacre of 52 people at a mosque in New Zealand were all previewed on a public internet message board called 8chan. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "America’s mass shootings are a political choice," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gab is where the man accused of massacring 11 people last October in a Pittsburgh synagogue posted anti-Semitic vitriol. Frank Bajak, The Denver Post, "Online providers knock 8chan offline after mass shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 Gab is where the man accused of massacring 11 people last October in a Pittsburgh synagogue posted anti-Semitic vitriol. Frank Bajak, Twin Cities, "Online providers knock 8chan offline after mass shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 In 2012, after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Walmart resisted calls to stop selling assault-style rifles such as the Bushmaster AR-15, which gunman Adam Lanza used to massacre children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Author: Derek Hawkins, Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "A tragedy at Walmart, a store with a complex history of gun sales," 4 Aug. 2019 In 2012, after the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., Walmart resisted calls to stop selling assault-style rifles such as the Bushmaster AR-15, which gunman Adam Lanza used to massacre children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "A tragedy at Walmart, a store with a complex history of gun sales," 3 Aug. 2019 Al-Bashir’s government mobilized Arab militias accused of burning villages to the ground, massacring civilians and carrying out mass rapes among non-Arabs in the region. Washington Post, "AP Interview: Sudan PM seeks end to country’s pariah status," 26 Aug. 2019 The reaction was violent at times; in 1885 white workers in Wyoming massacred 28 Chinese coal miners. New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Lau Sing Kee, War Hero Jailed for Helping Immigrants," 25 Aug. 2019 Staff Sargeant Robert Bales, the US soldier who’d massacred 16 Afghan civilians, was sentenced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to life in prison with no chance of parole. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 23 Aug. 2019 In 2011, anti-Muslim neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people in Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity, the majority of them teenagers at a youth camp. NBC News, "Gunman with multiple weapons opens fire at Norway mosque, injuring one," 10 Aug. 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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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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