car·​nage | \ ˈkär-nij How to pronounce carnage (audio) \

Definition of carnage

1 : the flesh of slain animals or humans a multitude of dogs came to feast on the carnage— T. B. Macaulay
2 : great and usually bloody slaughter or injury (as in battle) the carnage of war

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of carnage in a Sentence

Reporters described the highway accident as a scene of carnage. the appalling carnage in that war-torn country requires that the outside world intervene
Recent Examples on the Web There’s the increasingly urgent drumbeat of desire, followed by the irresistible act, the shame, the cooling-off period, and then a new flicker of need...which builds inevitably toward more carnage. Jen Spyra, Glamour, "Searching for Girl Scout Cookies: An Odyssey," 7 Apr. 2021 After the pandemic was declared, last March, epidemiologists expected carnage in such areas. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "Why Does the Pandemic Seem to Be Hitting Some Countries Harder Than Others?," 22 Feb. 2021 Someone shout WorldStar and get out their camera, because there is about to be some carnage in this here lower-ground-floor vacation-home-rental suite. Brian Moylan, Vulture, "Summer House Recap: The Sandwiches of Eastwick," 18 Feb. 2021 Nearly 170 investigators from local, state and federal agencies have logged more than 3,000 hours picking apart the crime scene and desperately seeking to find a motive for the carnage, according to officials. NBC News, "Boulder police faced 'significant amount of gunfire' as they responded to grocery, DA says," 26 Mar. 2021 Rather, Naishuller grasps the situation as an entry point to greater carnage. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, "Review: In ‘Nobody,’ Bob Odenkirk transforms into an action star. It suits him," 25 Mar. 2021 Still, even a small nuclear warhead can cause incredible carnage. Brad Lendon, CNN, "How dangerous is North Korea's military arsenal right now?," 25 Mar. 2021 Monday's carnage came six days after an attack at three Georgia massage spas that left eight people dead. Alex Connor, USA TODAY, "In Boulder, 'tragedy and a nightmare'," 23 Mar. 2021 Louisville's Denny Crum attempted to stop the carnage with a timeout. Star Tribune, "Rick Pitino long ago set in motion Richard Pitino's demise," 16 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carnage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of carnage

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for carnage

French, from Medieval Latin carnaticum tribute consisting of animals or meat, from Latin carn-, caro — see carnal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carnage

Time Traveler for carnage

Time Traveler

The first known use of carnage was in 1614

See more words from the same year

Statistics for carnage

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carnage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for carnage



English Language Learners Definition of carnage

: the killing of many people


car·​nage | \ ˈkär-nij How to pronounce carnage (audio) \

Kids Definition of carnage

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on carnage

What made you want to look up carnage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!