[kar-ee-uh n]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for carrion

body, remains, corpse

Examples from the Web for carrion

Contemporary Examples of carrion

Historical Examples of carrion

  • 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?

  • "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

British Dictionary definitions for carrion



dead and rotting flesh
(modifier) eating carrioncarrion beetles
something rotten or repulsive

Word Origin for carrion

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

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