- noun the killing of many people
- verb to kill many people or animals at the same time
- verb to kill animals for their meat
- noun the killing of a large number of animals
- verb to kill large numbers of animals
- verb to kill animals for food
- noun a place where stolen goods are hidden and/or shared out. This example of the jargon of cat burglars was recorded in FHM magazine in April 1996. It probably originated in underworld argot as ‘slaughterhouse’ or ‘slaughter-yard’, but the exact significance is unclear.
Origin & History of “slaughter”
Slaughter was borrowed from Old Norse *slahtr, which went back to the same prehistoric Germanic base (*slakh- ‘strike’) that produced English slay. Old English appears to have had its own version of the word, *slæht, which survived into the 17th century as slaught. this forms the second syllable of onslaught (17th c.), where it replaced the -slag in the borrowing from middle Dutch aenslag (literally ‘onstriking’).