slaughter

noun
slaugh·ter | \ˈslȯ-tər \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for slaughter

Synonyms: Noun

bloodbath, butchery, carnage, death, holocaust, massacre

Synonyms: Verb

butcher, massacre, mow (down)

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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

Months of unbearable slaughter from conventional weapons had played out on social media and some cable TV, resulting in no Western intervention at all. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "What do the US, UK and French airstrikes mean for Syria's war?," 15 Apr. 2018 The 9/11 terrorists responsible for the slaughter of 3,000 innocent people were foreign nationals on visas who committed immigration fraud and who should have been deported. refinery29.com, "Cynthia Nixon Takes On President Trump & The White House Over ICE," 9 July 2018 In the face of this slaughter, an answer to the question of why people have rights simply by virtue of being people, and how to secure those rights in practice, was desperately needed. Martin Peretz, WSJ, "‘Rooted Cosmopolitans’ Review: Of Persons and Peoples," 8 May 2018 Officials said targeting kids and warriors in the fight against poaching and wildlife conservation could help end the slaughter of elephants and other wildlife. Tonny Onyulo, USA TODAY, "'The savior to protecting these elephants is kids': How Kenya is defending future wildlife," 7 June 2018 The Myanmar military blamed a Muslim Rohingya insurgent group known as ARSA, while the militants pinned the slaughter on the largely Buddhist state security forces. Laignee Barron, Time, "Rohingya Insurgents Massacred Hindu Civilians in Myanmar, Amnesty International Reports," 23 May 2018 El Salvador tried that, too, but the truce fell apart and the slaughter resumed. The Economist, "How to cut the murder rate," 5 Apr. 2018 Apparently, the only adult male who was with the force within the confines of the Alamo to have survived the slaughter to-day is a fellow named Joe, who was in the Servitude of the late Lt. Robert Kolarik, San Antonio Express-News, "Alamo falls at dawn," 5 Mar. 2018 Turtles awaiting slaughter were kept in plain sight in bamboo pens on the beach. New York Times, "Saving Turtles in Bali, Egg by Precious Egg," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Using the hashtag #IfIDieInASchoolShooting, thousands of high school kids have shared their angst in the wake of yet another massacre at a school, all humbled by the reality that the next teens to be slaughtered by a gunman could be them. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Teens tweet heartbreaking #IfIDieInASchoolShooting posts," 22 May 2018 Antelope and porcupines also can spread Ebola when slaughtered. NBC News, "What is Ebola? The new outbreak in Congo explained," 18 May 2018 The thing that upsets me in movies is when the baddies all just get slaughtered. Jen Yamato, Detroit Free Press, "Mirren saw ‘Winchester’ as a horror film with a conscience," 1 Feb. 2018 When pork prices collapsed amid a global trade war during the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration in 1933 had an idea—slaughter six million piglets. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Dust Bowl Economics," 11 July 2018 In New Zealand, humans have slaughtered keas to the point of endangerment. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests," 9 July 2018 Still, in 2017 alone, more than 1,000 adult rhinos were slaughtered. Lindsey Bever, latimes.com, "Poachers were looking for rhinos. They found hungry lions instead, game reserve says," 6 July 2018 Still, in 2017 alone, more than 1,000 adult rhinos were slaughtered. Deanna Paul, Washington Post, "Suspected poachers were looking for rhinos. They found hungry lions instead, game reserve owner says.," 5 July 2018 Over the course of 100 days, people were slaughtered or fled the country, and a generation of dogs was left behind, stray and starving. Yana Paskova, National Geographic, "Learning to Love Dogs in Kigali," 29 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to slaughter

like a lamb to the slaughter

Statistics for slaughter

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slaughter

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

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More Definitions for slaughter

slaughter

noun

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

: to defeat (someone or something) easily or completely

slaughter

noun
slaugh·ter | \ˈslȯ-tər \

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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