[ slaw-ter ]
/ ˈslɔ tər /
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the killing or butchering of cattle, sheep, etc., especially for food.
the brutal or violent killing of a person.
the killing of great numbers of people or animals indiscriminately; carnage: the slaughter of war.

verb (used with object)



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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of slaughter

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English slaghter, slahter, slauther (noun), from Old Norse slātr, earlier slāttr, slahtr
4-6. Slaughter, butcher, massacre all imply violent and bloody methods of killing. Slaughter and butcher, primarily referring to the killing of animals for food, are used also of the brutal or indiscriminate killing of human beings: to slaughter cattle; to butcher a hog. Massacre indicates a general slaughtering of helpless or unresisting victims: to massacre the peasants of a region.
slaugh·ter·er, nounslaugh·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·slaugh·tered, adjective

Definition for slaughter (2 of 2)

[ slaw-ter ]
/ ˈslɔ tər /


Frank, 1908–2001, U.S. novelist and physician.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for slaughter

/ (ˈslɔːtə) /


verb (tr)

slaughterer, nounslaughterous, adjective
Old English sleaht; related to Old Norse slāttar hammering, slātr butchered meat, Old High German slahta, Gothic slauhts, German Schlacht battle
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

Idioms and Phrases with slaughter


see like a lamb to the slaughter.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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