ca·​dav·​er·​ous | \ kə-ˈdav-rəs How to pronounce cadaverous (audio) , -ˈda-vər-əs \

Definition of cadaverous

1a : of or relating to a corpse the cadaverous odors of the battlefield
b : suggestive of corpses or tombs
2a : pallid, livid
b : gaunt, emaciated grossly underweight, he appeared cadaverous, like a living skeleton

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Other Words from cadaverous

cadaverously adverb

Examples of cadaverous in a Sentence

A tall, cadaverous man led us into the library. everyone always looks cadaverous in the winter
Recent Examples on the Web Slim to the point of cadaverous, intense, hawk-faced, almost totally bald, and sporting a bristling red mustache, Douri's devotion to Saddam was absolute and enforced with the loyalty and rigor of the fanatic. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, 1942-2020," 5 Nov. 2020 Though most people look less cartoonish up close the president somehow looks more so: the preposterous hair and the radioactive orange glow and the black overcoat and lumpy cadaverous face. Ben H. Winters, Slate Magazine, "“Fifth Avenue”," 31 Jan. 2017 At first glance the shrunken, somewhat cadaverous man who stood before the court seemed like a startled rabbit. National Geographic, "The Nazi Who Infiltrated National Geographic," 27 Apr. 2017 Keening choirs and cadaverous extras bear witness as Yuri (Max Irons) leaves the family farm and his childhood sweetheart, Natalka (Samantha Barks), to attend art school in Kiev. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: ‘Bitter Harvest’ Offers a Clunky Lesson in Ukrainian History," 23 Feb. 2017 The noise attracted a cadaverous, grey denizen from the nearby marketing department, dragging a small bandwagon behind him. Charlie Sorrel, WIRED, "HP Reinvents iPAQ as Smartphone," 3 Oct. 2008

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cadaverous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cadaverous

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for cadaverous

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The first known use of cadaverous was in 1627

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Cite this Entry

“Cadaverous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cadaverous



English Language Learners Definition of cadaverous

: looking very thin and pale : resembling a corpse


ca·​dav·​er·​ous | \ kə-ˈdav-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce cadaverous (audio) \

Medical Definition of cadaverous

1 : of or relating to a corpse
2 of a complexion : being pallid or livid like a corpse

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