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macabre

or ma·ca·ber

[ muh-kah-bruh, -kahb, -kah-ber ]
/ məˈkɑ brə, -ˈkɑb, -ˈkɑ bər /
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adjective
gruesome and horrifying; ghastly; horrible.
of, pertaining to, dealing with, or representing death, especially its grimmer or uglier aspect.
of or suggestive of the allegorical dance of death.
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Rarely ma·ca·ber .

Origin of macabre

First recorded in 1400–50; from French; compare late Middle English Macabrees daunce, from Middle French danse (de) Macabré, of uncertain origin; perhaps to be identified with Medieval Latin chorēa Machabaeōrum a representation of the deaths of Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers, but evidence is lacking; the French pronunciation with mute e is a misreading of the Middle French forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use macabre in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for macabre

macabre
/ (məˈkɑːbə, -brə) /

adjective
gruesome; ghastly; grim
resembling or associated with the danse macabre

Derived forms of macabre

macabrely, adverb

Word Origin for macabre

C15: from Old French danse macabre dance of death, probably from macabé relating to the Maccabees, who were associated with death because of the doctrines and prayers for the dead in II Macc. (12:43–46)
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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