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tot +‎ Schlag. Compare Dutch doodslag.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtoːtˌʃlaːk/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˈtoːtˌʃlax/, /-ˌʃlaːx/ (northern and central Germany; chiefly colloquial)


Totschlag m (genitive Totschlags or Totschlages, no plural)

  1. (law) manslaughter; second-degree murder; an unlawful killing of a person which is subject to a milder punishment than murder

Usage notesEdit

  • The specific definition of Totschlag is distinct from the understanding of “manslaughter” in the Anglophone world. It also varies somewhat between the respective German-speaking countries. Generally, however, Totschlag is an intentional killing that lacks certain aggravating properties. A typical case example of Totschlag is a killing in the heat of the moment.
  • In informal contexts, Totschlag is often improperly distinguished from Mord (murder) or merged with it. Speakers are likely to use Mord for cases that do not legally qualify as murder.



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