Definition of slaughter noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈslɔːtə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈslɔːtər//
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  1. 1the killing of animals for their meat cows taken for slaughter
  2. 2the cruel killing of large numbers of people at one time, especially in a war synonym massacre the wholesale slaughter of innocent people
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (as a noun): from Old Norse slátr ‘butcher's meat’; related to slay. The verb dates from the mid 16th cent.Extra examples We were helpless to stop the slaughter. federal legislation to ban horse slaughter humane forms of animal slaughter the horrors of civil war and the slaughter of innocents the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians the transporting of live horses for slaughter They told us of the wholesale slaughter of innocent people.Idioms
    (like) a lamb/lambs to the slaughter
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    used to describe people who are going to do something dangerous without realizing it
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: slaughter