Definition of massacre in English:


Line breaks: mas|sacre
Pronunciation: /ˈmasəkə



[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Deliberately and brutally kill (many people): thousands were brutally massacred by soldiers
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    • 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, destroy, decimate, kill off, wipe out, mow down, cut down, cut to pieces, put to the sword, put to death, send to the gas chambers
    literary slay
  • 1.1 informal Inflict a heavy defeat on (a sporting opponent): we haven’t been massacred in any game over the last six years
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    • 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.
  • 1.2 informal Perform (a piece of music, a play, etc.) very ineptly: the choir was massacring ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’
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    • Both gaze lovingly at their partner in the audience as they massacre bad ballads.
    • I think it appropriate to note that the song was not written by Joan, especially since there are people who feel that Joan massacred the song.
    • The orchestra didn't help matters and massacred the song completely and turned the guitar solo into a joke.


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

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody