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 Eagles often feast on carrion, including gut piles and other remains. NBC News, 18 Feb. 2022 But these aren't the only prominent companies that have activist investors circling them like a scavenger does with carrion. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 24 Jan. 2022 Giggling, sneaky, carrion-scavenging—and good for public health? Bethany Brookshire, Scientific American, 27 Dec. 2021 This type of bacteria may create a more acidic environment in their guts to fight off pathogens that grow on carrion, per Insider. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Nov. 2021 The researchers found that the bees' guts are rich in acid-loving bacteria similar to those found in vultures, hyenas and other animals that feed on carrion. Katie Hunt, CNN, 24 Nov. 2021 Compared to vegetarian bees, these carrion-lovers had dramatically different microbiomes, according to a study published this month in the microbiology journal mBio. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Nov. 2021 Clements said the plant’s scent is designed by nature to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies from miles away to help with the pollinating process. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Nov. 2021 Instead, these carrion-feeding bees used those baskets to collect the chicken. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 27 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near carrion



carrion beetle

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Cite this Entry

“Carrion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for carrion


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

Kids Definition of carrion

: dead and decaying flesh

More from Merriam-Webster on carrion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carrion

Nglish: Translation of carrion for Spanish Speakers


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