char·​nel | \ ˈchär-nᵊl How to pronounce charnel (audio) \

Definition of charnel

: a building or chamber in which bodies or bones are deposited

called also charnel house

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Other Words from charnel

charnel adjective

Examples of charnel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of those felled in the drug war are expected to meet the same ending as generations of impoverished Filipinos before: stuffed in rice sacks and stored in charnel houses or dumped in piles, mixed with rubble and gravel on the cemetery floor. Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2021 If Dickens’s body of work is a virtual charnel house, Jane Austen is famous for never killing off a single major character. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 16 Sep. 2020 Nixon and Kissinger expanded the war in Southeast Asia, leaving Laos a cratered wreck, Cambodia a charnel house, Americans at each other’s throats and Vietnam with an armistice that yielded neither peace nor honor. John A. Farrell, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 Connecting the Alps and the Adriatic, this hiking trail showcases the heritage of the Isonzo Front, including fortifications, military cemeteries and charnel houses, alongside the region’s stunning natural scenery. Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2019 Though cremation has since solved the burial space issue, Hallstatt townspeople can choose to send their remains to the charnel house. Danielle Page, National Geographic, 4 Nov. 2019 Blood and wreckage was distributed over the entire ship, the after cabin and the vicinity of the ship adjacent to the exploded boiler resembling a charnel house. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 July 2019 On March 14, 1891, the city of New Orleans became a charnel house as a mob of as many as 20,000 wantonly slaughtered 11 Italian-Americans. Rosario A. Iaconis, WSJ, 8 Apr. 2019 There’s a reason Buddhist monks meditate on charnel grounds, and why Cicero said the contemplation of death was the beginning of philosophy. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, 26 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for charnel

Middle English, from Anglo-French carnel, charnel, probably alteration of charner, from Medieval Latin carnarium, from Latin carn-, caro flesh — more at carnal

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Time Traveler for charnel

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

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Cite this Entry

“Charnel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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