can·​ni·​bal | \ˈka-nə-bəl \

Definition of cannibal 

: one that eats the flesh of its own kind

Examples of cannibal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Shows about cannibals masquerading as charismatic psychiatrists, about wisecracking zombie hunters, about ferocious Anglo-Irish gangsters who conceal razorblades in the peaks of their caps. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "A TV Watcher’s Bid to Keep Up With the Bingers," 14 June 2018 The Bad Batch – June 23 A woman settles in with a band of cannibals—presumably the bad batch in question—in the dystopian wastelands of Texas. Emma Krupp, RedEye Chicago, "20 movies you'll want to see this summer," 11 May 2017 But cannibals capture her and plan to keep the cure for themselves, unless she is rescued by our hero, played by a muscle-bound, scowling Jean-Claude Van Damme armed with a sabre. Chris Ball,, "'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert,' now on DVD and Blu-ray (review)," 2 May 2018 Perch, especially big ones, are notorious cannibals. Jordan Rodriguez, idahostatesman, "You know about perch, bass. But you also should try catching walleye, tiger trout. | Idaho Statesman," 19 Mar. 2018 Jakl's previous directorial effort is 2015's horror movie Ghoul, focused on three American filmmakers who become the targets of the evil spirit of a violent cannibal. Vladimir Kozlov, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cassian Elwes to Co-Produce Biopic of Czech National Hero," 16 Mar. 2018 Though Hollywood rarely produces exploitation films anymore, historically there have been fewer brown superheroes in cinema; however, plenty of brown people have appeared in Hollywood's Africa as warlords, cannibals, and natives to be feared. Byron Mccauley,, "Byron McCauley: 'Black Panther': America needs this movie now more than ever," 30 Jan. 2018 The European stereotype of native Brazilians as cannibals would be reformatted as a cultural virtue. Jason Farago, New York Times, "She Led Latin American Art in a Bold New Direction," 15 Feb. 2018 Two-time Tony winner Ebersole (42nd Street, Grey Gardens) arrives midway through the first act, bringing clever comedic timing as the Old Lady whose single remaining buttock (the other lost to cannibals) becomes a running gag. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Candide': Opera Review," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cannibal.' 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 cannibal

1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cannibal

New Latin Canibalis Carib, from Spanish Caníbal, from Taino Caniba, of Cariban origin; akin to Carib kariʔna Carib, person

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Statistics for cannibal

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cannibal

The first known use of cannibal was in 1553

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More Definitions for cannibal



English Language Learners Definition of cannibal

: a person who eats the flesh of human beings or an animal that eats its own kind


can·​ni·​bal | \ˈka-nə-bəl \

Kids Definition of cannibal

1 : a human being who eats human flesh

2 : an animal that eats other animals of its own kind


can·​ni·​bal | \ˈkan-ə-bəl \

Medical Definition of cannibal 

: one that eats the flesh of its own kind

Other Words from cannibal

cannibal adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on cannibal

Spanish Central: Translation of cannibal

Nglish: Translation of cannibal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cannibal for Arabic Speakers

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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