[ man-slaw-ter ]
See synonyms for manslaughter on
  1. Law. the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.

  2. the killing of a human being by another; homicide.

Origin of manslaughter

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English; see origin at man, slaughter

Words that may be confused with manslaughter

Words Nearby manslaughter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use manslaughter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for manslaughter


/ (ˈmænˌslɔːtə) /

  1. law the unlawful killing of one human being by another without malice aforethought: Compare murder See also homicide, malice aforethought

  2. (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

Cultural definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.