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From Middle English manslaȝter, manslauter, equivalent to man +‎ slaughter, or taken as an adaptation of Old English mannslieht, mannsleaht (homicide), from mann (man, person) +‎ slieht, sleaht (stroke, slaying), see manslaught. Cognate with Scots manslauchter (homicide). Compare also Old Frisian monslaga (murder).


manslaughter (countable and uncountable, plural manslaughters)

  1. (obsolete) The slaying of a human being.
    • 1930, Pickthall, Marmaduke, “surah 5, verse 32”, in 'The Meaning of the Glorious Koran':
      For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.
  2. (law) The unlawful killing of a human, either in negligence or incidentally to the commission of some unlawful act, but without specific malice, or upon a sudden excitement of anger.

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