body snatcher


: one who steals corpses from graves

Examples of body snatcher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Burke was an infamous body snatcher who, with William Hare, killed 16 people in 1828 and sold the corpses to a Scottish anatomist named Robert Knox, who used them for dissection during his lectures. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2020 There is a new performance every Friday for the coming weeks, including depictions of Cincinnati body snatcher, Mary Cunningham as well as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Paul Daugherty,, 20 Feb. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'body snatcher.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1812, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of body snatcher was circa 1812

Dictionary Entries Near body snatcher

Cite this Entry

“Body snatcher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

body snatcher

body snatch·​er -ˈsnach-ər How to pronounce body snatcher (audio)
: one especially in former times who illegally removed usually recently interred corpses from graves for medical dissection or for sale for this purpose
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