car·​ri·​on | \ ˈker-ē-ən How to pronounce carrion (audio) , ˈka-rē- \

Definition of carrion

: dead and putrefying flesh Vultures live chiefly on carrion. also : flesh unfit for food

Examples of carrion in a Sentence

Vultures live chiefly on carrion.
Recent Examples on the Web Under normal circumstances, carrion triggers scavengers to flock to the carcasses, consuming the flesh and recycling the nutrients into the ecosystem. Abby Jones, The Conversation, "Rotting feral pig carcasses teach scientists what happens when tons of animals die all at once, as in Australia’s bushfires," 10 Jan. 2020 The scavenging species feeds mostly on carrion, and undigested fur and bones are commonly found at the base of communications towers within which vultures roost. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Feces from a giant kettle of vultures is disrupting CBP communications on the US-Mexico border," 10 Jan. 2020 The carcasses left behind by a wolf kill supports scavengers, including vultures and carrion beetles. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Competing interests leave Mexican gray wolf recovery efforts at a crossroads," 30 Dec. 2019 The stink serves a purpose for the titan arum plant, however, attracting carrion bugs that pollinate it. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin botanical gardens and arboretums are a tropical escape in winter," 27 Dec. 2019 Orchids pollinated by flies or carrion beetles are often brown and reek of rotting flesh. Katy Kelleher, Longreads, "The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Orchids," 9 Oct. 2019 Some of species' pitchers have mottled coloring that looks a bit like tasty carrion, which lures prey inside the pitcher. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "This deep-sea fish's expandable stomach can hold huge meals," 30 Oct. 2019 To put you at ease immediately, these do not eat carrion or animal waste. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Have you noticed flies swarming by your windows now that it’s getting cold? Here’s what’s going on.," 17 Oct. 2019 Scavengers like carrion bugs and birds prey on what soft tissue is left. Fox News, "5 Oregon bulls mutilated on ranch with sex organs, tongues missing in suspected ‘occult’ ritual: officials," 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carrion.' 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 carrion

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carrion

Middle English caroine, from Anglo-French caroine, charoine, from Vulgar Latin *caronia, irregular from Latin carn-, caro flesh — more at carnal

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Time Traveler for carrion

Time Traveler

The first known use of carrion was in the 14th century

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Statistics for carrion

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carrion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for carrion


How to pronounce carrion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carrion

: the flesh of dead animals


car·​ri·​on | \ ˈker-ē-ən How to pronounce carrion (audio) \

Kids Definition of carrion

: dead and decaying flesh

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carrion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carrion

Spanish Central: Translation of carrion

Nglish: Translation of carrion for Spanish Speakers

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