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slaughter (n.)

c. 1300, "killing of a cattle or sheep for food, killing of a person," from a Scandinavian *slahtr, akin to Old Norse slatr "a butchering, butcher meat," slatra "to slaughter," slattr "a mowing" from Proto-Germanic *slukhtis, related to Old Norse sla "to strike" (see slay (v.)) + formative suffix (as in laugh/laughter). Meaning "killing of a large number of persons in battle" is attested from mid-14c. Old English had 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