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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman boucher, from Old French bouchier (goat slaughterer), from bouc (goat), of Germanic origin. More at buck.


butcher (plural butchers)

  1. A person who prepares and sells meat (and sometimes also slaughters the animals).
  2. (figuratively) A brutal or indiscriminate killer.
    • Shakespeare
      Butcher of an innocent child.
  3. (Cockney rhyming slang, from butcher's hook) A look.
  4. (informal, obsolete) A person who sells candy, drinks, etc. in theatres, trains, circuses, etc.
Derived terms[edit]


butcher (third-person singular simple present butchers, present participle butchering, simple past and past participle butchered)

  1. (transitive) To slaughter (animals) and prepare (meat) for market.
  2. (transitive) To kill brutally.
  3. (transitive) To ruin (something), often to the point of defamation.
    The band at that bar really butchered "Hotel California".
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

butch +‎ -er



  1. comparative form of butch: more butch
    • 2003, Alisa Solomon, Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theatre and Gender, page 170:
      Weaver and Shaw dance together and almost immediately another butch, an even butcher butch (Leslie Feinberg), cuts in to dance with Shaw (though Shaw would kill me if she heard me call someone a butcher butch).