Definition of massacre in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmasəkər/


1An indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people: the attack was described as a cold-blooded massacre she says he is an accomplice to massacre
More example sentences
  • It was a slow slaughter, peppered with massacres and atrocities from which whole generations are still recovering.
  • Nothing else can describe such brutal massacres, such wanton destruction.
  • I thought that I had seen one tiny corner of an indiscriminate massacre of students and intellectuals, a bloodbath.
slaughter, wholesale/mass slaughter, indiscriminate killing, mass murder, mass execution, annihilation, liquidation, decimation, extermination;
carnage, butchery, bloodbath, bloodletting, pogrom, genocide, ethnic cleansing, holocaust, night of the long knives
literary slaying
1.1 informal A heavy defeat of a sports team or contestant.
Example sentences
  • We discovered in the massacre at Macclesfield that all teams can look poor going backwards, and Longton were certainly no exception.
  • It was a massacre.. Australia smashed England out of the park in the batting and then took the major wickets in short order.
  • It was a massacre. When a team wins 38-14, on the road, without forcing a single defensive turnover, you know it has been a one-sided game.


[with object]
1Deliberately and violently kill (a large number of people).
Example sentences
  • In retaliation to killings of northerners in the South, the military rulers massacred thousands of southerners and many were brutally tortured.
  • We would massacre their cities, killing woman and children, and they would do the same.
  • Then criminal responsibility would in fact be much clearer than it would be if soldiers had massacred civilians in violation of orders.
slaughter, butcher, murder, kill, annihilate, exterminate, execute, liquidate, eliminate, decimate, wipe out, mow down, cut down, put to the sword, put to death
literary slay
1.1 informal Inflict a heavy defeat on (a sports team or contestant).
Example sentences
  • Yesterday, however, the triple Olympic champion turned up at the start of the women's time-trial and massacred the opposition to retain the second of her titles.
  • In 81 overs the Nalandians massacred the Royal bowlers to post a massive 315 for six wickets when stumps were drawn.
  • After taking some time to play himself in, he simply massacred the bowlers and England were put to the sword.


Late 16th century: from French, of unknown origin.

  • This is from French, from Old French macecre ‘slaughterhouse, butcher's shop’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mas·sa·cre

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