Definition of butchery in English:



  • 1The work of slaughtering animals and preparing them for sale as meat.

    • ‘They also found plenty of animal bones, some of which showed signs of butchery.’
    • ‘The revamp focused on areas of excellence such as the butchery department, fresh meat and fish department, the fruit and vegetable area as well as the deli food counter.’
    • ‘The meat was supplied by her husband's Haverfordwest butchery business, while the fruit and vegetables came from Redbridge at Fishguard.’
    • ‘I went into the local butchery near work this afternoon, and stood there actually enjoying the smell of raw meat.’
    • ‘The dominance of head and foot bones from at least six cattle suggests on-site butchery, with the possibility that the meat was distributed for consumption elsewhere.’
    • ‘The complement consists of the usual non-meat additives as used in meat butchery (for example breadcrumbs and trimmings) and pork butchery (more particularly the authorised food additives and seasonings).’
    • ‘First off, I don't really know all that much about animal breeding, husbandry, land use or butchery, and am bound to make a lot of mistakes.’
    • ‘There were also butchery and sausage-making demonstrations and a chance for the students to make their own Cumberland sausage.’
    • ‘He learned butchery, hygiene, slaughtering, cutting and boning - in fact everything related to butchering - to become a Master Butcher.’
    • ‘The slaughter and butchery of 200 cattle and the consumption of 40,000 kilos of beef, even if spread over a year or two, suggest the participation of many communities, perhaps from a whole clan or tribe.’
    • ‘If women were in the encampment they would be segregated and would prepare the meal, although slaughter and butchery were men's work.’
    • ‘At Gough's Cave, the human bones interpreted as cannibalised appear among an assemblage of hunted wild fauna, and display a pattern consistent with butchery for meat, including the removal of tongues.’
    • ‘This is where French butchery comes into its own, as their preparation of only the best parts of the rump will produce a good thick steak.’
    • ‘Unlike the larger supermarket chains, the discounters would be unlikely to have any testing procedures for the meat sold by their butchery department, decreasing the likelihood of detection.’
    • ‘Evidence has emerged, however, for a range of service activities, including metalworking, cooking and animal butchery.’
    • ‘The centre has already begun to offer practical courses for the agricultural industry across a range of subjects, from butchery to dairy production, from food hygiene to food labelling and microbiology.’
    • ‘I'm looking for a class for my son who works in a restaurant kitchen on charcuterie or meat butchery in New York City.’
    meat selling, meat retailing
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    1. 1.1British [count noun]A slaughterhouse.
      • ‘I found him at the grindstone, turning it with one hand as he held a butchery knife to it with the other.’
      • ‘Their pigs forage in fields and woods, their sows only produce two litters of piglets a year and pigs are prepared at the farm butchery, so there's no transport of live animals.’
      • ‘Report links CJD cluster to local farming and butchery practices’
      • ‘The meat mincer was located in the butchery which had been constructed on the family's grazing property.’
      • ‘In May, the bodies of five women were found in a cold storage room (5 corpses found at butchery) at a Limpopo butchery.’
      • ‘A salmon butchery goes from bloody routine to living hell’
      • ‘And that's how we ended up in Etosha, Namibia's biggest open-air butchery.’
      • ‘The butcheries were filled with live chickens stuffed into cages and looking out as they waited on their little death row.’
      abattoir, slaughterhouse
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    2. 1.2British [count noun]A butcher's shop.
      • ‘They ran the Forest Inn and a butchery in Wakefield.’
      • ‘The family settled in Hawera, where the father of young George, or Monty as he was known, set up a butchery business in High Street.’
      • ‘‘I know what they've done - they've forgotten to do any butchery on it - look there's the lungs’.’
      • ‘Two years later we opened our sister butchery who provides premium meat to a very select clientele.’
      • ‘Trainees work in a different section every week, moving between the cold section, hot section, pasta, grill, pastry, bakery, butchery and fish.’
      • ‘It sells a range of fresh meat cuts through its award-winning butchery and a wide range of cooked meats, pies and cheeses through its delicatessen.’
      • ‘Built in the early part of last century, The General Store was once the real McCoy, run by Mr A.P. Horne, whose son Ashley operated a butchery with slaughterhouse opposite the store.’
      • ‘The incident happened on Wednesday March 16 around 3pm while the driver was visiting a butchery, situated two doors away from the alleyway.’
      • ‘Police acting on a tip-off arrested four murder suspects less than two hours after 52-year-old businessman Alan Payn was shot dead in his butchery along the old East Coast road near Kwelera at the weekend.’
      • ‘Gilbert Grossett is the third generation of his family to run their butchery business in Dundee.’
      • ‘Willem is up early six days a week, and buys his meat from wholesalers in Krugersdorp and Amalgam, and is ready to open the butchery at 6.30 am.’
      • ‘A strictly halal butchery run with pride and culinary imagination attracts customers from far and wide.’
      • ‘She was able to recruit 13 friends as volunteers for the headshave and said she is prepared for the good-natured ribbing she anticipates when she returns to work in the family butchery business in Helmsley today.’
      butcher's, butcher's shop, meat market, meat counter
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  • 2The savage killing of large numbers of people.

    ‘the rebellions ended in butchery and defeat’
    • ‘Huerta was generally represented as a savage in the U.S. media for his supposed love of butchery, violence, and alcohol.’
    • ‘They treat us with barbarism and butchery, and they get blessed.’
    • ‘What is much more frightening is that there are people in Australia and America who, after seeing the blatant deceit and butchery of these men, are still prepared to support them.’
    • ‘By rewriting internecine butchery as ‘reassuring fratricide,’ Shakespeare engages in a politics of collective forgetting that complicates official memory.’
    • ‘Murder and mayhem isn't just limited to bare-handed butchery, oh no.’
    • ‘‘It was butchery on a brutal scale,’ said Juan Redondo, an inspector for Madrid Fire Department.’
    • ‘Killings were sometimes grotesquely accomplished, with excessive butchery.’
    • ‘Meantime, the true extreme social conservatives get on with their business of murder and butchery on video.’
    • ‘The Germans dug a defensive line, and trench warfare with all its bloody, pointless butchery ensued for the next four years.’
    • ‘Across the world, women are persecuted in many, many ways - mutilation, stoning, rape, butchery, denial of basic human rights and too many other atrocities to name here.’
    • ‘And still all of you stick to your misconceptions of savage butchery.’
    • ‘I just hope this weekend's display of savage butchery and inter-communal violence wasn't staged for their benefit.’
    • ‘Her medical background is evident in the precise descriptions of butchery and mutilation.’
    • ‘As we do our grisly march through slavery, genocide, and butchery for profit my students often ask, does anyone learn from history?’
    • ‘He wants the government to round up all the gunmen and their allies, be their military allies or politicians, and force them to pay for their butchery.’
    • ‘Disembowellments, lower jaws hewn off, spears piercing thighs, bladders, lungs, eye sockets - each and every one of the harsh clinical, medical details of Homeric butchery.’
    • ‘The world has got to stop this craven, cloying, tacit support for a religious group, based on the obscenities of the past, regularly regurgitated as justification for 21st century human butchery.’
    • ‘There is no escaping the fact of the Crusader's savage butchery - of Jews at home and of Muslims abroad.’
    • ‘There is no heroism in butchery, no heroism in suicide, no heroism in writing that invokes, and profits from, the war you have left behind.’
    • ‘There is a graphic description, for instance, of the killings in Rwanda and of the butchery of 3,000 Tutsis seeking sanctuary in a church.’
    slaughter, massacre, slaying, murdering, murder, mass murdering, homicide, blood shedding
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Middle English (denoting a slaughterhouse or meat market): from Old French boucherie, from bouchier butcher.