from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who slaughters and dresses animals for food or market.
  • n. One who sells meats.
  • n. One that kills brutally or indiscriminately.
  • n. A vendor, especially one on a train or in a theater.
  • n. One who bungles something.
  • transitive v. To slaughter or prepare (animals) for market.
  • transitive v. To kill brutally or indiscriminately.
  • transitive v. To botch; bungle: butcher a project; butchered the language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who prepares and sells meat (and sometimes also slaughters the animals).
  • n. A brutal or indiscriminate killer.
  • n. A look.
  • n. A person who sells candy, drinks, etc. in theatres, trains, circuses, etc.
  • v. To slaughter animals and prepare meat for market.
  • v. To kill brutally.
  • v. To ruin something, often to the point of defamation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who slaughters animals, or dresses their flesh for market; one whose occupation it is to kill animals for food.
  • n. A slaughterer; one who kills in large numbers, or with unusual cruelty; one who causes needless loss of life, as in battle.
  • transitive v. To kill or slaughter (animals) for food, or for market.
  • transitive v. To murder, or kill, especially in an unusually bloody or barbarous manner.
  • transitive v. to bungle badly; to botch; -- used also when an object is damaged (literally or figuratively) in an activity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To kill or slaughter for food or for market.
  • To murder, especially in an unusually bloody or barbarous manner.
  • Figuratively, to treat bunglingly; make a botch of; spoil by bad work: as, to butcher a job; the play was butchered by the actors.
  • n. One who slaughters animals for market; one whose occupation is the killing of animals for food.“
  • n. An executioner.
  • n. One who kills in a cruel or bloody manner; one guilty of indiscriminate slaughter.
  • n. Figuratively, an unskilful workman or performer; a bungler; a botch.
  • n. A long drink of beer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who makes mistakes because of incompetence
  • n. a retailer of meat
  • n. a person who slaughters or dresses meat for market
  • v. kill (animals) usually for food consumption
  • n. a brutal indiscriminate murderer


Middle English bucher, from Old French bouchier, from bouc, boc, he-goat, probably of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman boucher, from Old French bouchier ("goat slaughterer"), from bouc ("goat"), of Germanic origin. More at buck. (Wiktionary)


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  • I went up to the school
    I took a walk up Castlehill
    For every step there is a local boy who wants to be a hero
    Do you want to do it now?
    Outside the butcher's with a knife and a bike chain.

    (I could be dreaming, by Belle and Sebastian)

    August 24, 2008