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

In certain parts of the city those who were responsible for the slaughter of old man Barleycorn held little celebrations of their own. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 1, 1919: Prohibition begins," 1 July 2018 The loss of our lake sturgeon has been much like the slaughter of the buffalo. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Group: Lake sturgeon should be endangered species," 15 May 2018 In the United States, an Army investigation eventually concluded that 347 men, women and children had been killed in the slaughter. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Ernest Medina, company commander acquitted in My Lai Massacre, dies at 81," 14 May 2018 Jughead’s article has stirred something in Cheryl, too, who confronts her mother at Pickens’ statue about their family’s role in the Uktena slaughter. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 2 Episode 11: Archie and Hiram Lodge Finally Face Off," 25 Jan. 2018 Many states already have their own prohibitions on the slaughter of cattle, and some have been tightened. Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg.com, "India’s Sacred Cow Now Threatens an $83 Billion Dairy Industry," 23 Jan. 2018 The government, which is supposed to protect life, is willfully taking part in the slaughter of innocents. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "Woman who had tax-funded abortion says they 'help people in bad situations,' but critics decry public money for 'immoral act'," 25 June 2018 Having used many of the animals at the Antwerp Zoo as his subjects, he was devastated when shortages of supplies and fear of German bombs led to their slaughter by the Belgian Army. Edgardo Franzosini, New York Times, "There’s More to Italian Fiction Than Elena Ferrante," 18 May 2018 El Milagro Nursery President Victor Gonzalez, the 53-year-old who directed the slaughtering, pleaded guilty to one count of inhumane slaughter. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "They stabbed pigs in the heart on his orders. He's the one looking at federal prison," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The activist says animals are being beaten, strangled and loaded into trucks to be slaughtered. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Activist's protest against Houston rodeo goes viral on Facebook," 8 Mar. 2018 Some of the dogs do not survive long enough to be slaughtered. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Inside the grim scene of a Korean dog meat farm, just miles from the Winter Olympics," 12 Feb. 2018 The diary captures the barbarity of the February 1945 Battle of Manila, when Japanese troops slaughtered thousands of civilians. James M. Scott, WSJ, "Five Best: James M. Scott," 8 Nov. 2018 And that ship had to go all the way back to Europe, where more than 250 of those passengers, including kids, were slaughtered in the Holocaust. Matt Viser, Town & Country, "Why So Many People Are Betting on Beto O'Rourke," 26 July 2018 The good news is that a bunch of our Ghost Nation faves (and Teddy!) make it through the door before Clementine rolls in and forces everyone to start slaughtering each other. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "What the Hell Just Happened on Westworld's Insane Season Finale?," 25 June 2018 By 8, his father had taught him how to slaughter sheep himself. Amanda Little, WIRED, "The Laser Battle Against Blood-Sucking Parasites of the Deep," 23 May 2018 And critics who have bad-mouthed the teens on the internet or the airwaves have found that vitriol turned back on them by people sympathetic to the plight of students who became activists after seeing their classmates and teachers slaughtered. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Republican who called Parkland teen a 'skinhead lesbian' drops out of Maine House race," 18 Mar. 2018 His insurgent group, the Tehrik-e-Taliban, also took responsibility for the brutal attack on an Army Public School in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014 when more than 140 children and their teachers were slaughtered. Washington Post, "Afghan official: US drone kills Pakistan Taliban chief," 15 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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Statistics for slaughter

Last Updated

7 Dec 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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