Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Dead and decaying flesh.
  • adj. Of or similar to dead and decaying flesh.
  • adj. Feeding on such flesh.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Dead flesh; carcasses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to dead and putrefying carcasses; feeding on carrion.
  • n. The dead and putrefying body or flesh of an animal; flesh so corrupted as to be unfit for food.
  • n. A contemptible or worthless person; -- a term of reproach.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dead body; a corpse; a carcass; flesh.
  • n.
  • n. A mere carcass: used of a living person, as a term of contempt.
  • n. The dead and putrefying body or flesh of animals; flesh so corrupted as to be unfit for food.
  • Dead and putrefying, as a carcass.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the dead and rotting body of an animal; unfit for human food

Etymologies

Middle English careine, from Anglo-Norman, from Vulgar Latin *carōnia, from Latin carō, flesh; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • "He looked up at the radiant sky, and it appeared pure, untainted by carrion eaters."

    Lord Foul's Bane, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, BOOK ONE, Chapter Five.

    July 29, 2012

  • Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee...

    -Gerard Manley Hopkins

    May 5, 2009

  • does wisdom perhaps appear on earth as a raven, inspired by the smell of carrion?

    Nietzsche

    July 25, 2008

  • The kind of baggage that vultures bring with them when flying.

    November 3, 2007