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[man-slaw-ter] /ˈmænˌslɔ tər/
Law. the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.
the killing of a human being by another; homicide.
Origin of manslaughter
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at man1, slaughter
Can be confused
homicide, manslaughter, murder (see synonym study at kill) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for manslaughter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "They were just about to try him for manslaughter when I left England," said Stanhope, laughing.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • But if you don't know how easy it is, it looks like a curtain-raiser for manslaughter.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • We shall all be sent to the castle, and perhaps transported for manslaughter.

    The English Spy Bernard Blackmantle
  • Probably, though, it will be brought in as manslaughter yes, almost certainly.

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • The most I can hope for is to make 'em drop that manslaughter case.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
British Dictionary definitions for manslaughter


(law) the unlawful killing of one human being by another without malice aforethought Compare murder See also homicide, malice aforethought
(loosely) the killing of a human being
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
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Word Origin and History for manslaughter

mid-14c., " act, crime, or sin of killing another human being," in battle or not, from man (n.) + slaughter (n.). Replaced Old English mannslæht (Anglian), mannslieht (West Saxon), from slæht, slieht "act of killing" (see slay). Etymologically identical with homicide, but in legal use usually distinguished from murder and restricted to "simple homicide."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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manslaughter in Culture
manslaughter [(man-slaw-tuhr)]

The unlawful killing of a person, without malice or premeditation. Involuntary manslaughter is accidental, such as running into someone with a car. Voluntary manslaughter is committed in the “heat of passion,” as in a spontaneous fight in which one person is killed by a strong blow. Manslaughter is usually considered less serious than murder. Both murder and manslaughter are types of homicide.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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