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

Ravens are associated with carrion — and so with battlefields and execution grounds. William Booth, The Seattle Times, "The secrets of the royal ravenmaster at the Tower of London," 26 Oct. 2018 Late-night comedians pecked at the news like vultures on carrion. Michael J. Mooney, Popular Mechanics, "Is RadioShack Back?," 1 Apr. 2016 In the corpse flower, the volatile odor is dispersed by the heat the flower generates as the phallus-like bloom emerges, attracting carrion beetles and similar connoisseurs. New York Times, "Why Is the Corpse Flower So Stinky?," 6 July 2018 Black vultures survive, like most vultures do, by eating carrion — the remains of dead animals. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 With a few flaps of those mighty wings, the condor is airborne, soaring and sailing for hours as high as 15,000 feet on its endless hunt for carrion. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘A Brotherhood of Spies’ and ‘Above and Beyond’ Review: When Spies Took to the Skies," 12 July 2018 Image One of the most unsettling threads in the book is how a collapsing middle class has prompted new industries to spring forth from the rubble — or to circle overhead, like carrion birds. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "Going for Broke, the Middle Class Goes Broke," 27 June 2018 Fish and Game's red fox fact sheet states that their diet includes small mammals, birds and bird eggs, vegetation and carrion. Bob Hallinen, Anchorage Daily News, "Behind the lens: An evening with foxes in South Anchorage," 9 Apr. 2018 The color, thought to approximate flesh, attracts flies and beetles—but not bees—of the carrion variety, insects drawn to dead and decaying animals. Andrew Moore, Good Housekeeping, "A Beginner's Guide To Growing Pawpaw—The Delicious Fruit You're Not Eating," 12 Jan. 2018

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

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on carrion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carrion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carrion

Spanish Central: Translation of carrion

Nglish: Translation of carrion for Spanish Speakers

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