Definition of massacre in English:

massacre

noun

  • 1An indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of many people.

    ‘reports of massacres by government troops’
    • ‘I thought that I had seen one tiny corner of an indiscriminate massacre of students and intellectuals, a bloodbath.’
    • ‘There won't be a single family in the country unaffected, there will be bloodshed, treachery, espionage, murder, pogroms and massacres.’
    • ‘Government forces have overseen and participated in massacres, the summary executions of civilians and the burning of towns and villages.’
    • ‘Reports of ethnic massacres signify an extreme degree of threat and it is hard to dismiss the influence of these reports in triggering group mobilization.’
    • ‘Surprise was the key element, but a brutal massacre was not needed.’
    • ‘According to the report, the massacre occurred after the guerrillas had tried to force the workers to stage a strike against the company.’
    • ‘It became clear to us that we were witnessing the aftermath of a massacre, the cold-blooded butchery of helpless and defenceless civilians.’
    • ‘Their reluctance can only multiply manifold after Sunday night's brutal massacre.’
    • ‘But it could all end right here, right now for him - in a brutal massacre.’
    • ‘Civil wars in various countries added to the world war, genocidal massacres, political assassinations and monstrosities of war turned the world upside down.’
    • ‘The only definitions at all relevant to the present debate appear to be a slaughter or massacre, or mass murder of people in a specific group.’
    • ‘Nothing else can describe such brutal massacres, such wanton destruction.’
    • ‘The junta is mostly known for slaughters and massacres, but there really is a demand for change.’
    • ‘The question remains as to why these gruesome war crimes and massacres were committed against the civil population?’
    • ‘The chopper pilot, however, did not report the massacre.’
    • ‘Official reports on the massacre were never released, and just two policemen were charged.’
    • ‘Both are wanted by the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague for their alleged roles in the massacre and other war crimes.’
    • ‘Emails reporting massacres and other atrocities were based on noises overheard, a cautious glance from the window, and third-hand reports.’
    • ‘It was a slow slaughter, peppered with massacres and atrocities from which whole generations are still recovering.’
    • ‘The concrete reality consists of kidnappings, murders, tortures, rapes and massacres.’
    slaughter, wholesale slaughter, mass slaughter, wholesale killing, indiscriminate killing
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    1. 1.1informal A heavy defeat of a sporting team or contestant.
      ‘the 25,000 ecstatic fans that packed into Coruna's shabby Riazor Stadium witnessed a massacre’
      • ‘It was a massacre with not a single point scored by the Bulldogs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 and a stunning reversal of fortune for a guy who was widely doubted as a big-game quarterback.’
      • ‘We discovered in the massacre at Macclesfield that all teams can look poor going backwards, and Longton were certainly no exception.’
      crushing defeat, overwhelming defeat, defeat, trouncing, annihilation
      rout, crushing defeat, overwhelming defeat, defeat, trouncing, annihilation
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Deliberately and brutally kill (many people)

    ‘thousands were brutally massacred by soldiers’
    • ‘In the weeks that followed, more than twelve hundred people were massacred and thousands of women were beaten and raped.’
    • ‘In retaliation to killings of northerners in the South, the military rulers massacred thousands of southerners and many were brutally tortured.’
    • ‘In the days and nights that followed, thousands of people were massacred.’
    • ‘Eight to ten millions of soldiers will massacre one another and in so doing devour the whole of Europe until they have stripped it barer than any swarm of locusts has ever done.’
    • ‘But it also saw a continuation of nationalist wars in which hundreds of thousands of people were wantonly massacred in just about every corner of the globe.’
    • ‘Then the army moved in, destroying the town and massacring hundreds of people, in response to the killing of 12 policemen the previous month.’
    • ‘They knew him, and they hated him as his soldiers massacred their people.’
    • ‘Thus it is not generally known that several thousand citizens have been massacred along the northern rim of the country the past 17 years.’
    • ‘In the later stages of the campaign, we know the citizens of these villages were killed and massacred and buried in mass graves.’
    • ‘When, early in 1887, a force of 500 Italian soldiers was massacred in Africa, there was a national outcry and demands for strong government.’
    • ‘Thousands were massacred by white settlers or evicted from their ancestral lands.’
    • ‘After being given traditional Highland hospitality the soldiers turned on and massacred some 40 of their hosts, and many of those who escaped soon died in winter storms.’
    • ‘Africans had seen too many military coups, too many wars within and between countries, and too many people massacred, killed, maimed, displaced and turned into refugees.’
    • ‘No, they were massacred in their own places most brutally.’
    • ‘Sure enough, the soldiers went in, they were captured, they were butchered, they were massacred.’
    • ‘Then criminal responsibility would in fact be much clearer than it would be if soldiers had massacred civilians in violation of orders.’
    • ‘Shots of the desert are breathtaking, while the battle scenes are also wonderfully portrayed, depicting the stark isolation the soldiers faced being massacred.’
    • ‘He'll meet privately with the families of the people killed in that massacre.’
    • ‘Days pass, thousands more are massacred, and we go on with our lives.’
    • ‘We would massacre their cities, killing woman and children, and they would do the same.’
    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
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    1. 1.1informal Inflict a heavy defeat on (a sporting opponent)
      ‘we haven't been massacred in any game over the last six years’
      • ‘In 81 overs the Nalandians massacred the Royal bowlers to post a massive 315 for six wickets when stumps were drawn.’
      • ‘Here we massacred them in the first half.’
      • ‘After taking some time to play himself in, he simply massacred the bowlers and England were put to the sword.’
      • ‘Teams as talented as Penn State only get massacred on a regular basis if they quit playing hard, and they only quit playing hard if they no longer fear their coach.’
      • ‘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.’
      trounce, defeat utterly, beat hollow, win a resounding victory over, annihilate, drub, rout, give someone a drubbing, crush, overwhelm, bring someone to their knees
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    2. 1.2informal Perform (a piece of music, a play, etc.) very ineptly.
      ‘the choir was massacring ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Actually, it's been about two-and-a-half years since they massacred the song at the Isle of Wight festival, which everyone would probably like to forget.’
      • ‘The orchestra didn't help matters and massacred the song completely and turned the guitar solo into a joke.’
      • ‘Both gaze lovingly at their partner in the audience as they massacre bad ballads.’
      • ‘Now they've taken yet another show I grew up with and massacred it.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

massacre

/ˈmasəkə/