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 slaughterer (audio) \ 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

The ruling, which contrasts with U.S. regulations, also applies to kosher slaughter methods. ... Valentina Pop, WSJ, "Halal and ‘Organic’ Don’t Mix in EU Ruling," 26 Feb. 2019 Myanmar rejects testimonies of slaughter, rape and sustained violence, saying soldiers took counterterrorism steps last year only after Rohingya militants attacked security posts, killing a dozen security personnel. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "‘All Our Lives They Wanted to Ruin Us.’ For Decades, Myanmar Sought to Drive Out Rohingya," 23 Nov. 2018 That guy was responsible for the slaughter of Alejandro’s family, and in a twist of screenplay karma, Alejandro acquires extralegal custody of his enemy’s teenage daughter, Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner). Taylor Sheridan, New York Times, "Review: ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ Blends War Movie and Western," 28 June 2018 Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die, Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred Why would a father ask his ever-expanding brood of what became 11 children to memorize a poem about war and slaughter? Kerry Kennedy, Time, "Kerry Kennedy: What My Father, RFK, Means Today," 31 May 2018 Worse, there’s a constant allusion to the fact that those on the right are responsible for the slaughter. James Freeman, WSJ, "Pittsburgh and the Press," 30 Oct. 2018 That first scene describes, in graphic detail, the slaughter of a 700-pound pig in an abattoir in Gascony, France. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Can We Eat Meat Ethically? Ask Butcher-Memoirist Camas Davis," 25 July 2018 And the horses — nearly all of them, like Luci, destined for slaughter — were rescued by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Second Chance Farm: Four broken men, six discarded racehorses, one place saving them," 17 May 2018 In fact, Governor Nelson Rockefeller and President Richard Nixon campaigned to convince the public that the slaughter at Attica was warranted, and eight inmates were convicted of crimes related to the riot by the New York state commission. 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Livestock ingesting metal is a common phenomenon— roughly 55 to 75 percent of the cattle slaughtered in the eastern United States alone have digested pieces of metal, whether that's a nail, a piece of wire, or something more. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What If Animal Feces Could Be Recycled for Metals and Valuable Elements?," 29 Nov. 2018 Even the lower-end estimate is nearly twice the number of chickens slaughtered every year in the US. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "How to be a better carnivore," 14 Nov. 2018 In the five years since a gunman slaughtered 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn., at least 438 American men, women and children have been shot in school shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Elise Jordan, Time, "I’ve Supported the Second Amendment My Whole Life. It’s Time for Reasonable Gun Control," 31 Mar. 2018 In those days, Muslim men and boys there were separated from their mothers, sisters and wives, driven into the woods and hunted down like animals, then slaughtered before being tossed into mass graves. Janine Di Giovanni, Newsweek, "Remembering the Horrors Bosnians Endured Under Radovan Karadzic," 5 Apr. 2016 Hours after a former student with an AR-15 slaughtered 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a clutch of outspoken student activists flipped the national script on school shootings in America. Lara Backmender, Glamour, "The March for Our Lives Activists Who Said Never Again," 1 Nov. 2018 For some reason, even people who are proud carnivores feel troubled by the idea of one of these freedom-grabbing animals being sent to slaughter. Longreads, "Wild At Heart," 17 May 2018 Macbeth, played by Nigerian junior Hamza Adisa, conjured Bashar al-Assad, Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and every other regional dictator who has clung to power by slaughtering rivals and abusing ordinary citizens. Richard Mcgill Murphy, Town & Country, "Desert Prep," 17 Dec. 2012 We were enslaved in Egypt, tortured and murdered during the Spanish Inquisition, slaughtered throughout the Crusades, thrown into concentration camps and killed during the Holocaust. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Moving On and Making a Difference in the Wake of the Tree of Life Shooting," 2 Nov. 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

2 Mar 2019

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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
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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