car·​nage ˈkär-nij How to pronounce carnage (audio)
: the flesh of slain animals or humans
a multitude of dogs came to feast on the carnageT. B. Macaulay
: 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
Recent Examples on the Web Like rapid fire bullets from an AK 47, American gun carnage is set to repeat. Sabrina Haake, Chicago Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023 The carnage isn’t the only thing that feels plucked from vintage grindhouse cinema. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 30 Aug. 2023 And hundreds gather along the route to cheer them on (or watch the carnage). oregonlive, 16 Aug. 2023 Jones said he's seen video of the carnage and can't shake images of his mother being fatally shot. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 16 Aug. 2023 In the carnage of our home was my 2007 strike sign. Todd Robinson, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Aug. 2023 Enter Email Sign Up These makeshift machine guns — able to inflict indiscriminate carnage in seconds — are helping fuel the national epidemic of gun violence. Glenn Thrush,, 12 Aug. 2023 The carnage of World War II shattered America’s isolationist proposition. WIRED, 9 Aug. 2023 The riot started after rival gangs Barrio 18 and MS-13 clashed inside the facility early Tuesday morning, with attackers having smuggled in deadly weapons to the prison in order to maximize the carnage. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 28 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carnage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carnage was in 1614

Dictionary Entries Near carnage

Cite this Entry

“Carnage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


car·​nage ˈkär-nij How to pronounce carnage (audio)
: great destruction of life (as in battle) : slaughter

More from Merriam-Webster on carnage

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