Try Our Apps


WATCH "Lumbersexual"


[boo ch-er] /ˈbʊtʃ ər/
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.
verb (used with object)
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
1250-1300; Middle English bocher < Anglo-French; Old French bo(u)chier, equivalent to bo(u)c he-goat (< Gaulish *bucco-; compare Old Irish boc, Welsh bwch; akin to buck1) + -ier -ier2 (see -er2)
Related forms
butcherer, noun
unbutchered, adjective
3. killer, cutthroat. 5, 6. See slaughter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for butchered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But she was still their idol, and Chukkers had butchered her before their eyes.

    Boy Woodburn Alfred Ollivant
  • Men were butchered in the embraces of their wives, children in the arms of their mothers.

  • In one spot a chalky seam cropping out was soaked with blood from the butchered game.

    The Red River Half-Breed Gustave Aimard
  • The island of Kossos was next captured; and its inhabitants were butchered.

  • The reason is, that he may be surprised by an enemy through his means, and butchered in his sleep.

    The Wing-and-Wing J. Fenimore Cooper
  • They were butchered after making a feast for Cornstalk and his warriors.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • My mother alone was a Tzigana, and my mother's beauty was part of the spoils of those who butchered your soldiers?

    Prince Zilah, Complete Jules Claretie
British Dictionary definitions for butchered


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
verb (transitive)
to slaughter or dress (animals) for meat
to kill indiscriminately or brutally
to make a mess of; botch; ruin
Word Origin
C13: from Old French bouchier, from bouc he-goat, probably of Celtic origin; see buck1; compare Welsh bwch he-goat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for butchered



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for butchered



  1. A surgeon, esp an incompetent one (mid1800s+)
  2. A brutal and sanguinary ruler: They called Bokassa a worse butcher than Amin (1529+)
  3. : As a carpenter I'm a butcher


To do crudely and clumsily what should be done with finesse: I butcher their language/ I try to paint but butcher the canvas (1640s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for butcher

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for butchered

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for butchered