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

In the aftermath of this slaughter, the number of suicide bombings against Jewish citizens increased. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Incitement': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 For critics of the initiative, the invocation of R2P to justify Anglo-French-US military action in Libya proved them right—even though a civilian slaughter in Benghazi had almost certainly been imminent. Janine Di Giovanni, The New York Review of Books, "Sierra Leone, 2000: A Case History in Successful Interventionism," 7 June 2019 In hundreds of grocery stores here, shoppers can pay a few extra cents for eggs stamped with a heart and the word respeggt—to show that they were laid by hens that did not hatch alongside male chicks destined for slaughter. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "‘Ethical’ eggs could save male chicks from mass slaughter," 14 Aug. 2019 Raising livestock for slaughter is, of course, not particularly good for the planet. Matt Simon, WIRED, "We’re Eating This Planet to Death," 8 Aug. 2019 She was found guilty of lying about her role as a commander of a roadblock where Tutsis were singled out for slaughter. BostonGlobe.com, "New England news in brief," 1 Aug. 2019 Then everyone calms down and snoozes until the next slaughter. George Skelton, The Mercury News, "Skelton: Why Americans still don’t have meaningful gun controls," 11 Aug. 2019 Juana 's parents didn 't grumble about the work at the factory, where hundreds of workers lined up in rows to perform a task -- stun, slaughter, pluck feathers, clean, cut or debone. Author: Jenny Jarvie, Anchorage Daily News, "Mississippi raids split families and leave children adrift: ‘I just want my mom and dad’," 11 Aug. 2019 Juana’s parents didn’t grumble about the work at the factory, where hundreds of workers lined up in rows to perform a task — stun, slaughter, pluck feathers, clean, cut or debone. Los Angeles Times, "Mississippi raids split families and leave children adrift: ‘I just want my mom and dad’," 10 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Years ago, before Trump was elected president, there were white boys with guns too, slaughtering innocents. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Weaponizing the dead of El Paso and Dayton," 9 Aug. 2019 More than 50 million hens were killed, either dying of the flu or slaughtered in efforts to prevent it from spreading further. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Meatless meat is having a moment. Will eggless eggs be next?," 23 July 2019 In just the past seven years, gunmen have slaughtered country music fans (58 killed at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas) and members of the LGBT community (49 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016). Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Mass shootings give gun control cause new strength — for now," 6 Aug. 2019 These would-be slaughterers end up being slaughtered by Dalton and his stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who employ an attack dog, a flame thrower, and a myriad of household objects that get slammed into faces. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Quentin Tarantino’s Ultimate Statement on Movie Violence," 2 Aug. 2019 Kelli Doherty, 20, of Tequesta, Brandi El-Salhy, 24, of Gainesville, and Sean Henry, 26, of Jupiter, were gathered around a fire pit when they were slaughtered in a barrage of gunfire. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "Man on ‘mission of evil’ found guilty of killing three people at backyard party," 21 June 2019 Just after midnight, Rosemary and Leno LaBianca were brutally slaughtered in their home at 3301 Waverly Drive in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, near Griffith Park. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "The Manson Girl Who Got Away," 29 July 2019 The whole staff of the restaurant goes to a farm, where an animal who’ll be served at the restaurant is slaughtered in front of them. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Sweetbitter Star Ella Purnell on the Show's Shocking Slaughter Scene," 22 July 2019 But the plot’s interesting and casts a light on why an endangered species is being slaughtered. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "‘Shoot the Bastards’ introduces Vietnamese-American character who lives in Duluth," 16 June 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

14 Sep 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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