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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for carcass
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now and then, a drowned sheep, and once the carcass of a cow, floated past.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Right by the carcass was another that jumped about in the moonlight in a foolish way.

    The Biography of a Grizzly Ernest Seton-Thompson
  • Where the carcass is the vultures are on deck, or words similar.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • When the hare is caught the carcass should be given to the young hounds to tear in pieces.

    The Sportsman Xenophon
  • Cut a soft-wood board core, making it some smaller than outline of carcass.

    Taxidermy Leon Luther Pray
British Dictionary definitions for carcass


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 carcass

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 carcass



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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