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[kahr-nij] /ˈkɑr nɪdʒ/
the slaughter of a great number of people, as in battle; butchery; massacre.
Archaic. dead bodies, as of those slain in battle.
Origin of carnage
1590-1600; < Middle French < Italian carnaggio < Medieval Latin carnāticum payment or offering in meat, equivalent to Latin carn- (stem of carō) flesh + -āticum -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for carnage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The raven, wolf, and eagle are the regular epic accompaniments of battle and carnage.

    Beowulf Unknown
  • There was a tribute of carnage, nor were they long engaged in the tumult of battle.

    Y Gododin Aneurin
  • There was battle there, and death and carnage and utter destruction.

    Invasion William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The carnage had been terrible, and the fields were strewn with the dead and dying.

  • There is in man a similar temper, which is roused and stimulated by carnage.

    Henry IV, Makers of History John S. C. Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for carnage


extensive slaughter, esp of human beings in battle
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Italian carnaggio, from Medieval Latin carnāticum, from Latin carō flesh
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 carnage

c.1600, from Middle French carnage (16c.), from Old Italian carnaggio "slaughter, murder," from Medieval Latin carnaticum "flesh," from Latin carnaticum "slaughter of animals," from carnem (nominative caro) "flesh," originally "a piece of flesh," from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)). In English always used more of slaughters of men than beasts. Southey (1795) tried to make a verb of it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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