- a place in which bodies are kept, especially the bodies of victims of violence or accidents, pending identification or burial.
- a reference file of old clippings, mats, books, etc., in a newspaper office.
- the room containing such a reference file.
- any place, as a room or file, where records, information, or objects are kept for unexpected but possible future use.
- such records, information, or objects.
Origin of morgue
Examples from the Web for morgue
So far, the mystery man in the morgue has not been identified, and neither has Mr. Douli.‘We’re Going to Die’: Survivors Recount Greek Ferry Fire Horror
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 29, 2014
In London it is located in the Duveen Gallery where half the extant marbles sit under white light as if in a morgue.Britain Has Lost Its Marbles: Elgin Loan Will Appease Putin
December 5, 2014
Another incident, in January, involved a Kenyan man, Paul Mutora, who woke up in the morgue 15 hours after being pronounced dead.What It’s Like to Wake Up Dead
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad
November 21, 2014
Afterwards, the bodies were taken to the morgue to positively identify them.The Shocking Death of Miss Honduras
November 19, 2014
He said he had been commanded to grab every journalist showing up at the morgue.I Was Snatched at the MH17 ‘Morgue’
July 21, 2014
Who would have thought of public fickleness even at the Morgue?The Uncommercial Traveller
Laurent understood that he had taken too long a look at Camille at the Morgue.
The next day, on entering the Morgue, he received a violent shock in the chest.
I went back to the Morgue and made some inquiries of the attendant there.Dross
Henry Seton Merriman
This building was later converted into a hospital and morgue.
- another word for mortuary (def. 1)
- informal a room or file containing clippings, files, etc, used for reference in a newspaper
- superiority; haughtiness
Word Origin and History for morgue
"mortuary," 1821, from French Morgue, originally a specific building in Paris where bodies were exposed for identification:
There is, in the most populous part of the French metropolis, an establishment entitled La Morgue, destined for the reception and exposition of bodies drowned in the Seine, and caught in nets, which are placed in different parts of the river for that purpose. The object of this exposition is, that the deceased may be recognised by their friends or relatives, and receive the rights of sepulture accordingly. The Morgue is open at all hours of the day, to passengers of every description, and often displays at a time, five or six horrible carcasses stretched, without covering, on an inclined platform, and subjected to the promiscuous gaze of the mob. ["American Review," January 1811]
Before that it was the place where new prisoners were displayed to keepers to establish their identification. Thus the name is believed to be probably from French morgue "haughtiness," originally "a sad expression, solemn look," from Old French morguer "look solemnly," from Vulgar Latin *murricare "to make a face, pout," from *murrum "muzzle, snout." The 1768 Dictionnaire Royal François-Anglois Et Anglois-François defines French morgue both as "A proud, big, haughty or stately look, stare, surliness, or surly look" and "A little gratel room wherein a new prisoner is set, and must continue some hours, that the Jailer's ordinary servants may the better take notice of his face."
Adopted as a general term in U.S., 1880s, replacing earlier dead house, etc. In newspaper slang, "collection of pre-written obituary material of living persons" (1903), hence "library of clips, photos, etc.," 1918.
- A place in which dead bodies are temporarily kept until identified and claimed or until arrangements for burial have been made.