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 cannibalism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cannibalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 33 of these pairs, one of the companions showed elevated levels of iron compared with the other, a sign of planetary cannibalism. Adam Mann, Science | AAAS, 30 Aug. 2021 Adults and juveniles remain segregated, a leave-me-alone relationship developed over millions of evolutionary years to avoid cannibalism. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, 24 July 2021 Adults and juveniles remain segregated, a leave-me-alone relationship developed over millions of evolutionary years to avoid cannibalism. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, 24 July 2021 Adults and juveniles remain segregated, a leave-me-alone relationship developed over millions of evolutionary years to avoid cannibalism. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, 24 July 2021 Adults and juveniles remain segregated, a leave-me-alone relationship developed over millions of evolutionary years to avoid cannibalism. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 GenevaA Liberian rebel commander was sentenced in Switzerland to 20 years in jail on Friday for rape, killings and an act of cannibalism, in one of the first ever convictions over the West African country's civil war. Reuters, CNN, 18 June 2021 The paleontologist who studied it at the time argued that a large hole in its temple was the result of ritual cannibalism. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2021 The birth of dozens of lynx spiders is followed by two days of cannibalism until only one spider remains. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 1 June 2021

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

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The first known use of cannibalism was in 1634

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Dictionary Entries Near cannibalism

cannibalise

cannibalism

cannibalistically

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Statistics for cannibalism

Last Updated

5 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cannibalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cannibalism. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on cannibalism

Nglish: Translation of cannibalism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cannibalism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cannibalism

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