adjective ma·ca·bre \mə-ˈkäb; -ˈkä-brə, -bər; -ˈkäbrə\

: involving death or violence in a way that is strange, frightening, or unpleasant

Full Definition of MACABRE

:  having death as a subject :  comprising or including a personalized representation of death
:  dwelling on the gruesome
:  tending to produce horror in a beholder

Examples of MACABRE

  1. a macabre story of murder and madness
  2. Police discovered a macabre scene inside the house.

Origin of MACABRE

French, from (danse) macabre dance of death, from Middle French (danse de) Macabré
First Known Use: 1889

Synonym Discussion of MACABRE

ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <a ghastly accident>. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <an unusually grisly murder> <suffered a gruesome death>. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <a macabre tale of premature burial>. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <the lurid details of a crime>.


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