slaughter

noun
slaugh·​ter | \ ˈslȯ-tər How to pronounce slaughter (audio) \

Definition of slaughter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of killing specifically : the butchering of livestock for market
2 : killing of great numbers of human beings (as in battle or a massacre) : carnage

slaughter

verb
slaughtered; slaughtering; slaughters

Definition of slaughter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to kill (animals) for food : butcher
2a : to kill in a bloody or violent manner : slay
b : to kill in large numbers : massacre
3 : to discredit, defeat, or demolish completely

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Other Words from slaughter

Verb

slaughterer \ ˈslȯ-​tər-​ər How to pronounce slaughter (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for slaughter

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of slaughter in a Sentence

Noun the slaughter of innocent people all civilized nations should protest this senseless slaughter Verb Our team got slaughtered yesterday. modern poultry farms slaughter a vast number of chickens every day
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In Denmark, as many as 15 million mink are slated for slaughter following a mass outbreak of COVID-19 on a Danish mink farm earlier this year. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Mink infected with COVID escapes quarantined Oregon mink farm," 31 Dec. 2020 Regardless, Duquette has become an outspoken proponent for slaughter. Britta Lokting, Washington Post, "In the West, wild horses are an out-of-control problem — and ranchers and animal rights activists are locked in conflict over their fate," 18 Nov. 2020 The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals was signed in 1972, regulating the large-scale slaughter of seals for all nations in the region. Alessandro Antonello, The Conversation, "200 years ago, people discovered Antarctica – and promptly began profiting by slaughtering some of its animals to near extinction," 13 Nov. 2020 In 2014, a US federal jury found four former Blackwater Worldwide contractors -- Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard -- guilty over the slaughter and sentenced all to long jail terms. Aqeel Najim, Kareem Khadder And Kara Fox, CNN, "Survivors of Blackwater massacre in Iraq slam Trump's pardons for US guards behind killing," 23 Dec. 2020 This slaughter paves the way for the hornets to gather the real target of the attack, the brood of larvae developing in the hive. The Economist, "Bees defend their hives against hornets with animal dung," 12 Dec. 2020 Since the mass slaughter, hundreds of mink carcasses have emerged from their graves. NBC News, "Here's why Denmark culled 17 million minks and now plans to dig up their buried bodies. The Covid mink crisis, explained," 2 Dec. 2020 Some experts say the mass slaughter may be premature. Washington Post, "Danish cabinet minister resigns over mink culling order that has shaken highest levels of government," 18 Nov. 2020 The buffalo, transported from Yellowstone National Park, descend from the few that survived the mass slaughter that, by the late 1800s, had reduced the population from more than 30 million to a few hundred. Brett Anderson, New York Times, "The Thanksgiving Myth Gets a Deeper Look This Year," 17 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rwandan prosecutors say financial documents found in the capital, Kigali, after the genocide indicated that Kabuga, then a wealthy businessman, used dozens of his companies to import vast quantities of machetes that were used to slaughter people. Elaine Ganley, Star Tribune, "French high court OKs extradition of Rwanda genocide suspect," 30 Sep. 2020 The facility in Waterloo is Tyson’s largest pork-processing plant, with the capacity to slaughter about 20,000 hogs daily. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Tyson Fires Pork Plant Managers After Probe Into Covid-19 Bets," 16 Dec. 2020 The first book is written from the perspective of those in the countryside, where the Maccabees conducted a guerilla war against the Greeks, while taking ample time to slaughter Hellenized Jews along the way. David Harsanyi, National Review, "The True Meaning of Hanukkah," 9 Dec. 2020 Under the previous owners, Brawley Beef (National Beef), the plant had the capacity to slaughter between 1,600 to 2,300 cattle on a daily basis. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "A Box of Meat and $100 For Your Life," 5 Dec. 2020 The invasive 2-inch Asian giant hornet, or vespa mandarinia, has drawn concern over the species' ability to slaughter honeybee colonies within a span of a few hours. NBC News, "'Murder hornet' nest had potential to spawn almost 200 queens in Washington state," 10 Nov. 2020 Denmark won’t go ahead with a plan to immediately slaughter millions of mink, after opposition lawmakers slammed the government’s handling of the matter. Morten Buttler, Bloomberg.com, "Danish Mink Cull Shelved After Government Botches Covid Response," 9 Nov. 2020 Denmark plans to slaughter up to 17 million farmed mink because a coronavirus mutation discovered in the animals that spread to humans, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Thursday. Fox News, "Denmark plans to kill up to 17 million farmed mink due to coronavirus mutation," 5 Nov. 2020 Men don't slaughter schoolchildren in their classrooms or worshipers in churches. Aj Willingham, CNN, "How the pandemic and politics gave us a golden age of conspiracy theories," 3 Oct. 2020

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for slaughter

Noun

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse slātra to slaughter; akin to Old English sleaht slaughter, slēan to slay — more at slay

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Time Traveler for slaughter

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for slaughter

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slaughter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slaughter. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for slaughter

slaughter

noun
How to pronounce slaughter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slaughter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of killing animals for their meat
: the violent killing of a large number of people

slaughter

verb

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

: to kill (an animal) for food
: to kill (many people) in a very violent way
informal : to defeat (someone or something) easily or completely

slaughter

noun
slaugh·​ter | \ ˈslȯ-tər How to pronounce slaughter (audio) \

Kids Definition of slaughter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of killing
2 : the act of killing and preparing animals for food
3 : destruction of many lives especially in battle

slaughter

verb
slaughtered; slaughtering

Kids Definition of slaughter (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on slaughter

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