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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for carrion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Already the carrion birds had gathered in incredible numbers.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • There was the scent of carrion in the air now; I saw it in his eyes.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • But you are learning, cur; you are learning by the pain of your fat carcase; is it not so, carrion?

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • "Unshackle me this carrion, and heave it overboard," was the harsh order.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Offal and carrion were strewn all about the place; it swarmed with flies.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • And in their wake came all that class of carrion which is ever seeking something for nothing.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • Say, rather, if you have the vulture's appetite, you must go where there is carrion!

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • That foul eater of the carrion of the priests wishes your life!

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The plunder was taken, "as a dead enemy is picked by carrion buzzards."

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
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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