Massacre definition

măsə-kər
The act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly.
noun
15
2
To kill indiscriminately and wantonly; slaughter.
verb
6
1
The intentional killing of a considerable number of human beings, under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty, or contrary to the norms of civilized people.

The massacre on St. Bartholomew's Day.

St. Valentine's Day massacre.

Amritsar massacre.

noun
2
0
(informal) To defeat decisively.
verb
2
1
(informal) To defeat overwhelmingly.
verb
2
1
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The indiscriminate, merciless killing of a number of human beings.
noun
1
0
(figuratively)
noun
1
0
(figuratively)
verb
1
0
The slaughter of a large number of animals.
noun
1
1
(informal) To botch; bungle.

Massacred the French language trying to order dinner.

verb
1
2
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(informal) An overwhelming defeat, as in sports.
noun
0
1
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.)
verb
0
1
A large-scale slaughter of animals.
noun
1
3
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.

noun
0
2
(informal) A severe defeat, as in a sports event.
noun
0
2
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To kill indiscriminately and mercilessly and in large numbers.
verb
0
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
massacre
Plural:
massacres

Origin of massacre

  • French from Old French macecle, macecre butchery, shambles

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 1580, from Middle French massacre, from Old French macacre, macecle (“slaughterhouse, butchery"), from Medieval Latin mazacrium (“massacre, slaughter, killing", also “the head of a newly killed stag"), from Middle Low German *matskelen (“to massacre") (compare German metzeln (“massacre")), frequentive of matsken, matzgen (“to cut, hew"), from Proto-Germanic *maitanÄ… (“to cut"), from Proto-Indo-European *mei- (“small"). Akin to Old High German meizan (“to cut"), Dutch matsen (“to maul, kill"), dialectal German metzgern "to butcher, kill", German metzgen (“to cull, kill, slaughter cattle"), Metzger (“a butcher"), Metzelei (“massacre"), Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌹𐍄𐌰𐌽 (maitan, “to cut"). See also the French term massacrer.

    From Wiktionary