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[kar-ee-uh n] /ˈkær i ən/
dead and putrefying flesh.
rottenness; anything vile.
feeding on carrion.
Origin of carrion
1175-1225; Middle English caroyne, careyn, carion < Anglo-French careine, Old French charo(i)gne < Vulgar Latin *caronia, equivalent to Latin carun- (see caruncle) + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for carrion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is to the Castle of carrion that we are going, as Bellido is now absent.

    The Cid Campeador Antonio de Trueba
  • If that should fall, this creature before me would mainly be carrion.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • A big coughing mass, reeking of carrion, bounded past him up the hill, and he followed discreetly.

    The Day's Work, Volume 1 Rudyard Kipling
  • These carrion dogs, who devour one another, even their own flesh and blood?

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • Its presence was manifested by the stench from far off from the carrion of the dead.

    An Artilleryman's Diary Jenkin Lloyd Jones
  • Already the carrion birds had gathered in incredible numbers.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The Vultures, and other carrion birds, share with the crustac the essential office of health preservers.

    The Sea Jules Michelet
  • There was the scent of carrion in the air now; I saw it in his eyes.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • The - 235 - large birds commonly seen are the rook, carrion crow, daw, and wood-pigeon.

    Birds in London W. H. Hudson
British Dictionary definitions for carrion


dead and rotting flesh
(modifier) eating carrion: carrion beetles
something rotten or repulsive
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French caroine, ultimately 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 carrion

early 13c., carione, from Anglo-French carogne (Old North French caroigne; Old French charogne, 12c., "carrion, corpse," Modern French charogne), from Vulgar Latin *caronia "carcass" (source of Italian carogna, Spanish carroña "carrion"), from Latin caro "meat" (see carnage).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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