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>
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>
Did You Know?
This word was taken over straight from French (a Latin-based language), and has mostly referred to large-scale killing in wartime. But carnage needn't refer only to slaughter on the battlefield. With tens of thousands of people dying each year in automobile accidents, it's appropriate to speak of carnage on the nation's highways. And those concerned about the effects of the violence we see constantly on TV and movie screens may refer to that as carnage as well.
Origin and Etymology of carnage
French, from Medieval Latin carnaticum tribute consisting of animals or meat, from Latin carn-, caro —see carnal
First Known Use: 1614
CARNAGE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of carnage for English Language Learners
: the killing of many people
CARNAGE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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