[ kan-uh-buh-lahyz ]
See synonyms for cannibalize on
verb (used with object),can·ni·bal·ized, can·ni·bal·iz·ing.
  1. to subject to cannibalism.

  2. to remove parts, equipment, assets, employees, etc., from (an item, product, or business) in order to use them in another: to cannibalize old airplanes for replacement parts.

  1. to cut into; cause to become reduced; diminish: New products introduced in the next six months will cannibalize sales from established lines.

verb (used without object),can·ni·bal·ized, can·ni·bal·iz·ing.
  1. to act cannibalistically; practice cannibalism.

Origin of cannibalize

First recorded in 1940–45; cannibal + -ize
  • Also especially British, can·ni·bal·ise .

Other words from cannibalize

  • can·ni·bal·i·za·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for cannibalize



/ (ˈkænɪbəˌlaɪz) /

  1. (tr) to use (serviceable parts from one machine or vehicle) to repair another, esp as an alternative to using new parts

Derived forms of cannibalize

  • cannibalization or cannibalisation, noun

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