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

This year’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival is set to run from June 21 -30, and will likely lead to the slaughter of thousands of dogs. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Activists Save 62 Filthy Dogs from Slaughter Days Ahead of China's Yulin Dog Meat Festival," 17 June 2019 The process is allegedly better for the planet than traditional farming, involves no animal slaughter, and circumvents the need to use medically important antibiotics for livestock. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "Aleph Farms wants to grow you a steak," 15 June 2019 In addition to the elephant slaughter, thousands of zebras and other big animals were killed for food or trigger-happy amusement. David Quammen, National Geographic, "How one of Africa’s great parks is rebounding from war," 12 June 2019 This, too, is pretty much Samantha’s fault, and Bunny is miffed — because, really, their evening didn’t have to involve so much slaughter. Laura Collins-hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "In Mona Awad’s ‘Bunny,’ an M.F.A. program is the devil’s workshop," 27 June 2019 The genocidaires used that organization to mobilize the slaughter by ethnic Hutu extremists against the ethnic Tutsi minority. Karl Vick, Time, "Is Rwanda's Paul Kagame a Strongman, a Technocrat, or Something in Between?," 27 June 2019 There are too many slaughters across the world to name them all —Syria, Yemen, and Myanmar come to mind. Justin Lynch, The New Republic, "The West’s Complicity in Sudan’s Massacres," 18 June 2019 Many see horse slaughter as an existential threat to racing, wrote Tim Sullivan. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Kentucky football still getting no respect at all," 17 June 2019 Pasquale and Giuseppe were lynched first, strung up in a slaughter yard on a winch used to skin cattle. Frank Viviano, The New York Review of Books, "Atrocities America Forgot," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The International Union for Conservation of Nature reports that more than 110,000 of the animals have been slaughtered, mostly for their ivory tusks. Fox News, "Mozambican wildlife reserve wipes out elephant poaching thanks to US support group," 18 June 2019 Sitting Bull was a Sioux chief who saw his people slaughtered, despoiled, and dispossessed before he himself was killed. Marc-olivier Bherer, Harper's magazine, "No Reservations," 10 May 2019 Around 600,000 pigs have been slaughtered so far in attempts to stop the virus from spreading. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Pork Producers Are Hog Wild About the U.S.-China Trade Truce," 3 Dec. 2018 After giving birth and being pushed to milk, these cows end up being slaughtered for beef. Vikki Ortiz, chicagotribune.com, "Animal activist brings vegan pop-up dinner to a meat-and-potatoes city," 20 June 2018 Prosecutors said that Jean Leonard Teganya, 47, participated in at least seven murders and five rapes during the genocide, in which Hutu extremists slaughtered Tutsis and Hutus who tried to protect them. Fox News, "Rwandan man gets 8 years in jail for lying in asylum bid about role in 1994 genocide," 4 July 2019 It is estimated that between 10-20 million dogs/cats are captured, transported and slaughtered annually in China for the trade. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Everything You Need to Know about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, and How You Can Help End It," 21 June 2019 The coup was announced by General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, whose forces slaughtered at least 800 Morsi supporters in the street. Karl Vick, Time, "Mohamed Morsi: The Arab World's Lost Promise," 20 June 2019 Japanese officials began slaughtering 6,600 hogs in Toyota City in an attempt to contain classical swine fever, and Denmark planned to fence its border with Germany to guard against boars infected with African swine fever. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 10 Apr. 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

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
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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