cannibalism

noun can·ni·bal·ism \ ˈka-nə-bə-ˌli-zəm \
Updated on: 6 May 2018

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

cannibalistic

play \ˌka-nə-bə-ˈlis-tik\ adjective

Recent Examples of cannibalism from the Web

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.

First Known Use of cannibalism

1796

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Medical Dictionary

cannibalism

noun can·ni·bal·ism \ -bə-ˌliz-əm \

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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