1. The killing of a considerable number of human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty, or contrary to the usages of civilized people; as, the massacre on St. Bartholomew's Day; the St. Valentine's Day massacre; the Amritsar massacre; the Wounded Knee massacre.
2. Murder. [Obs.]
Syn: -- Massacre, Butchery, Carnage.
Usage: Massacre denotes the promiscuous slaughter of many who can not make resistance, or much resistance. Butchery refers to cold-blooded cruelty in the killing of men as if they were brute beasts. Carnage points to slaughter as producing the heaped-up bodies of the slain.
I'll find a day to massacre them all,
And raze their faction and their family. --Shak.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Brhold this pattern of thy butcheries. --Shak.
Such a scent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable! --Milton.
Mas·sa·cre, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Massacred p. pr. & vb. n. Massacring ] To kill in considerable numbers where much resistance can not be made; to kill with indiscriminate violence, without necessity, and contrary to the usages of nations; to butcher; to slaughter; -- limited to the killing of human beings.
If James should be pleased to massacre them all, as Maximian had massacred the Theban legion. --Macaulay.
n : the savage and excessive killing of many people [syn: slaughter,
mass murder, carnage, butchery]
v : kill a large number of people indiscriminately; "The Hutus
massacred the Tutsis in Rwanda" [syn: slaughter, mow