- The definition of a massacre is the killing of a large number of people or animals at random and without mercy.
An example of a massacre was the Holocaust.
- the indiscriminate, merciless killing of a number of human beings
- a large-scale slaughter of animals
- Informal an overwhelming defeat, as in sports
Origin of massacreFrench ; from Old French maçacre, macecle, butchery, shambles ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
- The act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly.
- The slaughter of a large number of animals.
- Informal A severe defeat, as in a sports event.
transitive verbmas·sa·cred , mas·sa·cring , mas·sa·cres
- To kill indiscriminately and wantonly; slaughter.
- Informal To defeat decisively.
- Informal To botch; bungle: massacred the French language trying to order dinner.
Origin of massacreFrench, from Old French macecle, macecre, butchery, shambles.
(third-person singular simple present massacres, present participle massacring, simple past and past participle massacred)
- To kill in considerable numbers where much resistance can not be made; to kill with indiscriminate violence, without necessity, and contrary to the norms of civilized people; to butcher; to slaughter. (Often limited to the killing of human beings.)
1580, from Middle French massacre, from Old French macacre, macecle (â€œslaughterhouse, butcheryâ€), from Medieval Latin mazacrium (â€œmassacre, slaughter, killingâ€, also â€œthe head of a newly killed stagâ€), from Middle Low German *matskelen (â€œto massacreâ€) (compare German metzeln (â€œmassacreâ€)), frequentive of matsken, matzgen (â€œto cut, hewâ€), from Proto-Germanic *maitanÄ… (â€œto cutâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *mei- (â€œsmallâ€). Akin to Old High German meizan (â€œto cutâ€), Dutch matsen (â€œto maul, killâ€), dialectal German metzgern "to butcher, kill", German metzgen (â€œto cull, kill, slaughter cattleâ€), Metzger (â€œa butcherâ€), Metzelei (â€œmassacreâ€), Gothic ðŒ¼ðŒ°ðŒ¹ð„ðŒ°ðŒ½ (maitan, â€œto cutâ€). See also the French term massacrer.