nec·​ro·​phil·​ia ˌne-krə-ˈfi-lē-ə How to pronounce necrophilia (audio)
: obsession with and usually erotic interest in or stimulation by corpses
necrophiliac adjective or noun
necrophilic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The comedy touched third rails — the Holocaust, pedophilia, necrophilia, terrorist acts, to name a few — that shocked the audience but never felt cheap. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, 23 Feb. 2020 The focus on Jackson’s claims of necrophilia are one of two main issues that jurors will consider as early as next week. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, 19 Sep. 2019 Beyond killing his victims, Kemper was known for necrophilia and dismembering their bodies. Michele Corriston,, 19 Aug. 2019 Alice traffics in spiders, poison, necrophilia, dystopian heebie-jeebies, hellfire, madness — the full spectrum of bad vibes. John Adamian,, 28 June 2019 They were also credited with developing the macabre hip-hop style known as horrorcore, in songs centered on grim stories of murder, dismemberment, necrophilia and rape. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 10 June 2019 Wallace Muhammed, 48, was found guilty of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, necrophilia, burglary and tampering with evidence, Fulton County District Attorney spokesman Chris Hopper said. Zachary Hansen, ajc, 10 May 2018 When he was finally arrested, the extent of his horrific crimes — including cannibalism and necrophilia — shocked the American public. Steve Helling,, 3 Nov. 2017 In the Vanderbilt football case, that was almost like necrophilia. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'necrophilia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


borrowed from German & French; borrowed from German Nekrophilie, borrowed from French nécrophilie, from nécro- necro- + -philie -philia

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of necrophilia was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near necrophilia

Cite this Entry

“Necrophilia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


nec·​ro·​phil·​ia ˌnek-rə-ˈfil-ē-ə How to pronounce necrophilia (audio)
: obsession with and usually erotic interest in or stimulation by corpses
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?