can·​ni·​bal | \ ˈka-nə-bəl How to pronounce cannibal (audio) \

Definition of cannibal

: one that eats the flesh of its own kind

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Examples of cannibal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rural Texas cannibals waylay yuppie motorists driving from Los Angeles to Florida. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV for Oct. 6-12: ‘Throne of Blood’ and more," 4 Oct. 2019 Marie Tredway will direct Vongsay’s play follows two Laotian women in a world where civilization has become overrun with zombies and cannibals. Hannah Herrera Greenspan,, "Booked it! Chicago casting announcements for Sept. 19," 19 Sep. 2019 Users also posted gruesome images of human arms and other body parts and falsely claimed that the Rohingya were cannibals. New York Times, "When Rohingya Refugees Fled to India, Hate on Facebook Followed," 14 June 2019 The geographic spread of carcasses washing ashore suggests there are a small number of seal cannibals. Bethany Augliere, National Geographic, "Cannibalism is more common than thought in gray seals," 24 Apr. 2019 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

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

1541, 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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Time Traveler for cannibal

Time Traveler

The first known use of cannibal was in 1541

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Cite this Entry

“Cannibal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cannibal


How to pronounce cannibal (audio)

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 How to pronounce cannibal (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cannibal (audio) \

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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