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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from slaughter

Verb

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

Synonyms for slaughter

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The show, like the novel, draws much of Starling’s texture from her childhood: her father’s violent death in a robbery gone wrong, her desperate mission as a kid to save lambs from slaughter. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Dark Fate of Clarice Starling," 12 Feb. 2021 Under the initiative, those who raise livestock for slaughter must let their animals live out 25% of their natural lifespan before slaughtering them. Robert Davis, Washington Examiner, "Colorado initiative draws ire of Weld County, agriculture industry," 22 Apr. 2021 In the United States, Munyenyezi was convicted of lying about her role as a commander of one of the notorious roadblocks where Tutsis were singled out for slaughter. al, "US deports woman imprisoned in Alabama for lying about role in Rwandan genocide," 17 Apr. 2021 The egg industry has no need for male birds, since the males of egg-laying breeds can’t be fattened up for slaughter as profitably as broilers. Jan Dutkiewicz, The New Republic, "Banning Chicken Cages Won’t Make Eggs Humane," 23 Mar. 2021 The continued enforcement of cow slaughter laws penalizes Muslims, as well as Christians and Dalits, for offending certain Hindu religious interpretations. Knox Thames And Simran Jeet Singh, CNN, "Why Biden should be careful about courting India's Modi government," 12 Apr. 2021 There is a ritualistic, macabre death dance after every slaughter. BostonGlobe.com, "If 20 children killed in an elementary school didn’t change things, why would 10 dead adults in a supermarket?," 24 Mar. 2021 The new minister of agriculture—the previous one was forced to resign over the mink slaughter—vowed to have the dead minks dug up and incinerated instead. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, "Covid Spilled From Animals to Humans. Now It’s Spilling Back," 22 Mar. 2021 Eliminate Planned Parenthood slaughter clinic training. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage School Board candidate Q&As: Are there specific curriculum changes you would advocate? Describe them and the reason you want to see a change.," 14 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Consumers, meanwhile, are increasingly wise about something: Farmers feed their chickens grain and other crops to fatten them up, using huge amounts of land, water, and energy, and then slaughter them for meat. BostonGlobe.com, "Nothing to squawk at: Plant-based ‘chicken’ is pretty delicious — and on the verge of a major breakthrough," 13 Apr. 2021 An AR-15-style rifle was also the weapon a former student used to slaughter 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "The Colorado suspect allegedly used an AR-15-style pistol. Here's how it differs from an AR-15-style rifle," 24 Mar. 2021 Duquette and Wallis proposed opening a $3 million plant in Hermiston that would slaughter 25,000 horses a year. 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 In the wake of the coup, researchers unearthed hundreds of videos circulating on social media of uniformed soldiers threatening to slaughter ordinary citizens. Washington Post, "The incredible courage of Myanmar’s protesters," 5 Mar. 2021 Seaboard now requires employees to slaughter between about 1,230 and 1,300 hogs per hour, two plant workers who are also union stewards told Reuters. Star Tribune, "As Oklahoma pork plant speeds up slaughtering, workers report more injuries," 19 Feb. 2021 Per the statement, the site where researchers uncovered the fragment was most likely a meeting place for Paleolithic hunters who convened there to slaughter animals. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "120,000-Year-Old Cattle Bone Carvings May Be World’s Oldest Surviving Symbols," 8 Feb. 2021 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about slaughter

Time Traveler for slaughter

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for slaughter

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slaughter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slaughter. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on slaughter

What made you want to look up slaughter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!