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slaughter (n.)

c. 1300, "the killing of a person, murder; the killing of large numbers of persons in battle;" mid-14c., "the killing of a cattle or sheep for food;" from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse slatr "a butchering, butcher meat," slatra "to slaughter," slattr "a mowing," related to Old Norse sla "to strike," from Proto-Germanic *slagan- (see slay (v.)).

The form was perhaps influenced by Middle English slaught "killing, manslaughter, carnage; butchery of animals," the native cognate, from Old English sliht, sleht, slieht "stroke, slaughter, murder, death; animals for slaughter;" as in sliehtswyn "pig for killing."

slaughter (v.)

1530s, "butcher an animal for market," from slaughter (n.). Meaning "slay wantonly, ruthlessly, or in great numbers" is from 1580s. Related: Slaughtered; slaughtering.

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Definitions of slaughter from WordNet
1
slaughter (n.)
the killing of animals (as for food);
slaughter (n.)
a sound defeat;
Synonyms: thrashing / walloping / debacle / drubbing / trouncing / whipping
slaughter (n.)
the savage and excessive killing of many people;
Synonyms: massacre / mass murder / carnage / butchery
2
slaughter (v.)
kill (animals) usually for food consumption;
They slaughtered their only goat to survive the winter
Synonyms: butcher
slaughter (v.)
kill a large number of people indiscriminately;
Synonyms: massacre / mow down
From wordnet.princeton.edu