massacre

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See also: massacré

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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 *maitaną (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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

massacre (plural massacres)

  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
  2. (obsolete) Murder.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Richard the Third
      The tyrannous and bloody act is done,—
      The most arch deed of piteous massacre
      That ever yet this land was guilty of.
  3. (figuratively) An overwhelming defeat.

Synonyms[edit]

  • butchery, carnage, slaughter.
    Massacre denotes the promiscuous slaughter of many who can not make resistance, or much resistance.
    • 1592, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, I,v
      I'll find a day to massacre them all, And raze their faction and their family
    Butchery refers to cold-blooded cruelty in the killing of men as if they were brute beasts.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Richard III, I,ii
      If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds, Behold this pattern of thy butcheries
    Carnage points to slaughter as producing the heaped-up bodies of the slain.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost
      Such a scent I draw Of carnage, prey innumerable!

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

massacre (third-person singular simple present massacres, present participle massacring, simple past and past participle massacred)

  1. (transitive) 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.)
    • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History Of England From the Accession of James II
      If James should be pleased to massacre them all, as Maximilian had massacred the Theban legion
  2. (figuratively) This word needs a definition. Please help out and add a definition, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

massacre m (plural massacres)

  1. massacre

Verb[edit]

massacre

  1. first-person singular present indicative of massacrer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of massacrer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of massacrer
  4. first-person singular present subjunctive of massacrer
  5. second-person singular imperative of massacrer

Anagrams[edit]

External links[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Noun[edit]

massacre m (plural massacres)

  1. massacre

Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

massacre m (plural massacres)

  1. massacre

Related terms[edit]