- a repository for dead bodies.
- of, like, or fit for a charnel; deathlike; sepulchral.
Origin of charnel
Examples from the Web for charnel
It was a charnel yard on the hill-side, near to one of the town's six gates.The Scapegoat
The city will be a charnel house when these bodies start to decompose.The End of Time
The atmosphere of the place was cold and musty and suggestive of a charnel house.The Opal Serpent
Thy life has left thee, to live in the heart of a daughter of the charnel and the worm.Zanoni
Edward Bulwer Lytton
Yet that fragrant balm cannot stifle the smell of the charnel house.The Day of Wrath
- short for charnel house
- ghastly; sepulchral; deathly
Word Origin and History for charnel
late 14c., from Old French charnel (12c.) "fleshly," from Late Latin carnale "graveyard," properly neuter of adjective carnalis (see carnal). As an adjective from 1813. The Late Latin word was glossed in Old English as flæschus "flesh-house." Charnel house is attested from 1550s.