- a retail or wholesale dealer in meat.
- a person who slaughters certain animals, or who dresses the flesh of animals, fish, or poultry, for food or market.
- a person guilty of brutal or indiscriminate slaughter or murder.
- a vendor who hawks newspapers, candy, beverages, etc., as on a train, at a stadium, etc.
- to slaughter or dress (animals, fish, or poultry) for market.
- to kill indiscriminately or brutally.
- to bungle; botch: to butcher a job.
Origin of butcher
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- butch haircut.
- Slang. a lesbian, especially one notably masculine in manner or appearance.
- (of a girl or woman) having traits of personality, dress, behavior, or appearance usually associated with males.
- (of a male) decidedly or exaggeratedly masculine in manner or appearance.
Origin of butch
Examples from the Web for butcher
They could fix things and grow things and work with animals and do medical things and butcher pigs and put up preserves.Tony Earley's Imaginary Friends
September 2, 2014
His family ran a butcher shop in a part of town so tough that their specialty was broken leg of lamb.Toledo: The Town Too Tough for Toxic Water
P. J. O’Rourke
August 4, 2014
It is sold by the pound, cut to order, and presented not on a plate but on a sheet of butcher paper.The Texas Church of Beef
Jane & Michael Stern
April 27, 2014
One is against a gynecologist who lives comfortably in southern France, but is known in Rwanda as the “butcher of Tumba.”France Convicts Rwanda Genocidaire
March 14, 2014
One fateful night in 2009 a team of Navy SEALs grabbed the Butcher of Fallujah—and then everything went wrong.The Night the SEALS Captured the Butcher of Fallujah
November 11, 2013
The retailer is the grocer, the butcher, or the green grocer.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
My hands weighed two pounds each, and ought to have been at the butcher's.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
"Good-night," he said, with an insolence far too fine for the butcher's comprehension.The Slave Of The Lamp
Henry Seton Merriman
It is meet that the same hand that slew my dear master should butcher me also!The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
But the butcher had a sentiment for his business, and knew how to refine upon it.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
- a retailer of meat
- a person who slaughters or dresses meat for market
- an indiscriminate or brutal murderer
- a person who destroys, ruins, or bungles something
- to slaughter or dress (animals) for meat
- to kill indiscriminately or brutally
- to make a mess of; botch; ruin
- (of a woman or man) markedly or aggressively masculine
- a lesbian who is noticeably masculine
- a strong rugged man
Word Origin and History for butcher
c.1300, from Anglo-French boucher, from Old French bochier "butcher, executioner" (12c., Modern French boucher), probably literally "slaughterer of goats," from bouc "male goat," from Frankish *bukk or some other Germanic source (see buck (n.1)) or Celtic *bukkos "he-goat." Figurative sense of "brutal murderer" is attested from 1520s. Butcher-knife attested from 18c. Related: Butcherly.
1560s, from butcher (n.). Related: Butchered; butchering. Re-nouned 1640s as butcherer.
"tough youth," 1902, first attested in nickname of U.S. outlaw George Cassidy (1866-?), probably an abbreviation of butcher (n.). Sense of "aggressive lesbian" is 1940s.