from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A slaughterhouse.
- n. Something likened to a slaughterhouse: "The hand of God and mankind's self-inflicted blows seem equally heavy ... giving a strong cumulative impression of the world as an abattoir” ( Manchester Guardian Weekly).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A public slaughterhouse for cattle, sheep, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A public slaughter-house.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a building where animals are butchered
French, from abattre, to strike down, from Old French; see abate.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from French abattoir, from abattre ("to slaughter") (cognate to abate) + -oir ("-ory"). (Wiktionary)