cannibalism

noun
can·​ni·​bal·​ism | \ ˈka-nə-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce cannibalism (audio) \

Definition of cannibalism

1 : the usually ritualistic eating of human flesh by a human being
2 : the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of the same kind
3 : an act of cannibalizing something

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Other Words from cannibalism

cannibalistic \ ˌka-​nə-​bə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce cannibalistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cannibalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Brothers Grimm should really be outraged that their simple story about child abuse, malnutrition, cannibalism and witchcraft has been so twisted. Mark Kennedy, Houston Chronicle, "‘Gretel & Hansel’ is a real horror — as in horrible," 31 Jan. 2020 The Brothers Grimm should really be outraged that their simple story about child abuse, malnutrition, cannibalism and witchcraft has been so twisted. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘Gretel & Hansel’ puts the dread in dreadful," 30 Jan. 2020 But Keegan also clarifies that while the accounts of cannibalism could be true, there is insufficient evidence to definitively confirm Columbus’ claims. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Was Columbus Right About Cannibals in the New World?," 15 Jan. 2020 Last year researchers in France reported that climate change drove some Neanderthals to cannibalism. Fox News, "Neanderthal beachcombers went diving for seashells, scientists discover," 17 Jan. 2020 Still, no conclusive evidence has been found to confirm Columbus’ cannibalism accounts. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Was Columbus Right About Cannibals in the New World?," 15 Jan. 2020 By the end of 1921, the vast territory along the Volga succumbed to starvation and cannibalism. The Economist, "A century ago America saved millions of Russians from starvation," 9 Nov. 2019 Even with skilled comic actors Jessica Williams, Karan Soni, Nasim Pedrad and Dan Bakkedahl on board, this story of a team-building retreat that devolves into bickering (and eventually cannibalism) relies on obvious jokes about office politics. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Jim Gaffigan breaks out in ‘American Dreamer’; and more," 19 Sep. 2019 His brutal cartel, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, known as CJNG, is blamed for kidnappings, torture, murders, cannibalism and the spread of fentanyl — which has surpassed heroin as America’s deadliest illicit drug. Beth Warren, courier-journal.com, "Who is El Mencho? He's the most powerful drug kingpin you've never heard of," 25 Nov. 2019

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

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cannibalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of cannibalism was in 1634

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Statistics for cannibalism

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cannibalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cannibalism. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cannibalism

cannibalism

noun
can·​ni·​bal·​ism | \ -bə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce cannibalism (audio) \

Medical Definition of cannibalism

1 : the usually ritualistic eating of human flesh by a human being
2 : the eating of the flesh or the eggs of any animal by its own kind
3 : the pecking and tearing of the live flesh of its own members in a domestic poultry flock — compare pecking order
4 : oral sadism

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