American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A repository for the bones or bodies of the dead; a charnel house.
- adj. Resembling, suggesting, or suitable for receiving the dead.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A common repository for dead bodies; a place for the indiscriminate or close deposit of the remains, and especially of the bones, of the dead; a charnel-house.
- Containing or designed to contain flesh or dead bodies.
- n. A hinge, as of a door, window, chest, etc.
- n. The pivot or hinge on which the beaver or vizor of a helmet moved.
- n. A chapel attached to a mortuary.
- n. A repository for dead bodies.
- adj. Of or relating to a charnel, deathlike, sepulchral.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Containing the bodies of the dead.
- n. A charnel house; a grave; a cemetery.
- n. a vault or building where corpses or bones are deposited
- adj. gruesomely indicative of death or the dead
- From Middle French charnel < Late Latin carnāle ("graveyard") < Latin carnālis, or possibly an alteration of Anglo-Norman charner < Medieval Latin carnārium ("charnel"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin carnāle, from neuter of Latin carnālis, of the flesh, from carō, carn-, flesh; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“His chamber is hung commonly with strange beasts skins, and is a kind of charnel-house of bones extraordinary; and his discourse upon them, if you will hear him, shall last longer.”
“Emperor, was allowed to enter a kind of charnel-house, and to see what had been the lovely gaily-painted vellums lying squalidly piled in heaps.”
“First, the cave is frequented by wild beasts, who make it a kind of charnel-house.”
“The land for the cemetery was originally leased from St Paul's Cathedral, which had used it as a dumping ground for bones being cleared from the charnel house and tiny burial ground around the church.”
“Each year we build a new addition to the charnel house of contemporary life.”
“In truth, we found fevers, violent deaths, pestilential paradises where death and beauty kept charnel-house together.”
“The place became a charnel house, and in the middle of the night the survivors fled forth, taking nothing with them except arms and ammunition and a heavy store of tinned foods.”
“From behind the clan house came the cloying reek of the associated charnel house.”
“We marched straight into the sacred city of Coosa, acting as if we had every right in the world to stroll past the intricately carved charnel house atop its mound.”
“Only the charnel house off the plaza showed any sign of maintenance, the weeds pulled, the paths leading to it heavily traveled.”
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