Definition of butcher in English:


Line breaks: butcher
Pronunciation: /ˈbʊtʃə


  • 1A person whose trade is cutting up and selling meat in a shop.
    More example sentences
    • Markets often have butchers or cooked meat shops that specialize in the head and trotters, that is, the non-organ meats that are not suitable for stews and kebabs.
    • Yet another regulation about to impact on the local meat sector is a prohibition of cutting meat for wholesale in butchers ' shops.
    • We decided to sell direct to the customer in a shop, which would incorporate a traditional butcher's shop with cutting room and cold store.
  • 1.1A person who slaughters and cuts up animals for food: [with modifier]: a pork butcher
    More example sentences
    • By Islamic custom, butchers must slaughter animals by cutting the throat.
    • The refinery, built in 1998, processes food waste and animal by-products collected from slaughterhouses, butchers and supermarkets.
    • It appeared to him that almost everyone was a butcher and when an animal was slaughtered, everything was used down to the last drop of blood.
  • 1.2A person who kills people indiscriminately or brutally.
    More example sentences
    • Just as providence protects drunks and fools, so it also spares the pseuds who make excuses for the butchers who have killed their neighbours.
    • I told him they were a bunch of murdering butchers and he didn't like that.
    • Up along the bay still seagulling like a mix of Welsh and Irish, bible black and pudding with fingers in his mouth - maybe his own this time, the slavering butcher, the killer in some eyes.
    murderer, mass murderer, slaughterer, killer, assassin, serial killer, homicidal maniac, destroyer, terminator, liquidator
    literary slayer
    dated cut-throat, homicide
  • 2North American informal A person selling refreshments, newspapers, etc. on a train or in a theatre.


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have (or take) a butcher's

British informal Have a look.
[butcher's from butcher's hook, rhyming slang for a 'look']
More example sentences
  • He kicks off at Kelvingrove in Glasgow where he will take a butcher's at Salvador Dali's St John Of The Cross.
  • Meanwhile, Sharky's takes a butcher's at the P3 1.13GHz CPU.
  • ‘I think I might just mosey on down and take a butcher's,’ the PFY says, exiting stage left.


Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French variant of Old French bochier, from boc 'he-goat', probably of the same ultimate origin as buck1.

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