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massacre

[mas-uh-ker] /ˈmæs ə kər/
noun
1.
the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder.
2.
a general slaughter, as of persons or animals:
the massacre of millions during the war.
3.
Informal. a crushing defeat, especially in sports.
verb (used with object), massacred, massacring.
4.
to kill unnecessarily and indiscriminately, especially a large number of persons.
5.
Informal. to defeat decisively, especially in sports.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; (noun) < Middle French massacre, noun derivative of massacrer, Old French maçacrer, macecler, probably < Vulgar Latin *matteūcculāre, verbal derivative of *matteūca mallet (see mashie, mace1); (v.) < Middle French massacrer
Related forms
massacrer
[mas-uh-krer] /ˈmæs ə krər/ (Show IPA),
noun
unmassacred, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. carnage, extermination, butchery, genocide. 4. slay. See slaughter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for massacre
  • The past and present intersect as the pair unravel a 1923 massacre.
  • Valentine's Day massacre took place, two suspects are herded into a police van.
  • The B side entrance is a serious bottleneck and it's not uncommon to see a small massacre in that end of the hallway.
  • Years later, a town has sprung up on the site of the massacre.
  • But the violence has spiraled only upward, especially the headline-grabbing massacres.
  • In this massacre he spared Chilperic's two fair daughters, then in their infancy.
  • His oration upon the massacre of the fifth of March, is distinguished for its patriotic sentiments, as well as elegance of style.
  • We all oppose the massacre of baby seals.
  • It was truly a massacre.
  • When all we do is massacre the opposition, yes it is.
British Dictionary definitions for massacre

massacre

/ˈmæsəkə/
noun
1.
the wanton or savage killing of large numbers of people, as in battle
2.
(informal) an overwhelming defeat, as in a game
verb (transitive)
3.
to kill indiscriminately or in large numbers
4.
(informal) to defeat overwhelmingly
Derived Forms
massacrer (ˈmæsəkrə) noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, of unknown origin
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 massacre
massacre
1580s, from M.Fr. massacre "wholesale slaughter, carnage," from O.Fr. macacre, macecle "slaughterhouse, butchery," perhaps from L. macellum "provisions store, butcher shop." The noun is attested from 1580s. Related: Massacred.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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