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[kahr-kuh s] /ˈkɑr kəs/
noun, verb (used with object), carcased, carcasing.


or carcase

[kahr-kuh s] /ˈkɑr kəs/
the dead body of an animal.
Slang. the body of a human being, whether living or dead.
the body of a slaughtered animal after removal of the offal.
anything from which life and power are gone:
The mining town, now a mere carcass, is a reminder of a past era.
an unfinished framework or skeleton, as of a house or ship.
the body of a furniture piece designed for storage, as a chest of drawers or wardrobe, without the drawers, doors, hardware, etc.
the inner body of a pneumatic tire, resisting by its tensile strength the pressure of the air within the tire, and protected by the tread and other parts.
verb (used with object)
to erect the framework for (a building, ship, etc.).
Origin of carcass
1250-1300; < Middle French carcasse < Italian carcassa; replacing Middle English carkeis, carkois < Anglo-French, corresponding to Medieval Latin carcosium; ultimately origin obscure
Related forms
carcassless, adjective
Synonym Study
1. See body. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for carcase
Historical Examples
  • To my surprise, the man expressed his willingness to treat with me, and suggested that I might have the carcase at the rate of 4s.

  • Let the dogs loose, Martin, that they may worry the carcase; it will do them good.

    The Settlers in Canada Frederick Marryat
  • We found here the carcase of a crocodile; and the skull of another was found near our camp at Cycas Creek.

  • A few minutes after they caught the first one its carcase was flung overboard.

  • Should the investigation in the laboratory reveal disease the carcase is burnt.

    The Amazing Argentine John Foster Fraser
  • A bird of prey hovers near, ready to descend upon the carcase.

    History of Phoenicia George Rawlinson
  • As for mine​—​well​—​I am not so partial to vultures as to wish to feast them upon my carcase.

    The Red Tavern Charles Raymond Macauley
  • Surely no common quarry, as the carcase of elk, antelope, or mustang?

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • They made a fire close to the carcase, and then cut off lumps of flesh, which they roasted quickly, and then ate.

    Far Off Favell Lee Mortimer
  • When this is done, the carcase is cast loose, and the head is emptied, and let go also.

    Taking Tales W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for carcase


the dead body of an animal, esp one that has been slaughtered for food, with the head, limbs, and entrails removed
(informal) generally (facetious or derogatory) a person's body
the skeleton or framework of a structure
the remains of anything when its life or vitality is gone; shell
Word Origin
C14: from Old French carcasse, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for carcase



late 13c., from Anglo-French carcois, from or influenced by Old French charcois (Modern French carcasse) "trunk of a body, chest, carcass," and Anglo-Latin carcosium "dead body," all of uncertain origin. Not used of humans after c.1750, except contemptuously. Italian carcassa probably is a French loan word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for carcase



A human body; one's body, esp if heavy: set his carcass on the couch

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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