butchery

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bocherie, from Old French. See butcher for more.

Noun[edit]

butchery (countable and uncountable, plural butcheries)

  1. The cruel, ruthless killings of humans, as at a slaughterhouse.
    • 1593, Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 4, Scene 3.
      The tyrannous and bloody act is done,—
      The most arch deed of piteous massacre
      That ever yet this land was guilty of.
      Dighton and Forrest, who I did suborn
      To do this piece of ruthless butchery
  2. (rare) An abattoir, a slaughterhouse.
    • 1899 On the third Friday Jimmie was dropped at the door of the school from the doctor's buggy. The other children, notably those who had already passed over the mountain of distress, looked at him with glee, seeing in him another lamb brought to butchery. — Stephen Crane, Making an Orator.
    • 1901 There was good grass on the selection all the year. I’d picked up a small lot—about twenty head—of half-starved steers for next to nothing, and turned them on the run; they came on wonderfully, and my brother-in-law (Mary’s sister’s husband), who was running a butchery at Gulgong, gave me a good price for them. — Henry Lawson, A Double Buggy at Lahey Creek.
  3. The butchering of meat.
    • This butchery begins in the first Japanese month. For this purpose they put the animal's head between two long poles, which are squeezed together by fifty or sixty people, both men and women. When the bear is dead they eat his flesh, keep the liver as a medicine — James Frazer, The Golden Bough, Chapter 52.
  4. A disastrous effort, an atrocious failure.
    This week’s impossible-to-pronounce word: Catania. Granted, it’s a little trickier than Palermo, but there was no excusing the verbal butchery that ensued.blog.
  5. A meat market
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

butch +‎ -ery

Noun[edit]

butchery (countable and uncountable, plural butcheries)

  1. (slang) The stereotypical behaviors and accoutrements of being a butch lesbian.