What does cannibal mean?

Definitions for cannibal
ˈkæn ə bəlcan·ni·bal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word cannibal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cannibal, man-eater, anthropophagus, anthropophagitenoun

    a person who eats human flesh


  1. cannibalnoun

    An organism which eats others of its own species.

  2. Etymology: From Cannibalis, from Caniba, the Taíno form recorded by Christopher Columbus for the Caribs, who were greatly feared.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Cannibalnoun

    An anthropophagite; a man-eater.

    The cannibals themselves eat no man’s flesh, of those that die of themselves, but of such as are slain. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    They were little better than cannibals, who do hunt one another; and he that hath most strength and swiftness, doth eat and devour all his fellows. John Davies, on Ireland.

    It was my bent to speak,
    Of the cannibals that each other eat;
    The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
    Did grow beneath their shoulders. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    The captive cannibal, opprest with chains,
    Yet braves his foes, reviles, provokes, disdains;
    Of nature fierce, untameable, and proud,
    He bids defiance to the gaping croud;
    And spent at last, and speechless as he lies,
    With firy glances mocks their rage, and dies. George Granville.

    If an eleventh commandment had been given, Thou shalt not eat human flesh; would not these cannibals have esteemed it more difficult than all the rest? Richard Bentley.


  1. cannibal

    Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food. Cannibalism is a common ecological interaction in the animal kingdom and has been recorded in more than 1,500 species. Human cannibalism is well documented, both in ancient and in recent times.The rate of cannibalism increases in nutritionally poor environments as individuals turn to members of their own species as an additional food source. Cannibalism regulates population numbers, whereby resources such as food, shelter and territory become more readily available with the decrease of potential competition. Although it may benefit the individual, it has been shown that the presence of cannibalism decreases the expected survival rate of the whole population and increases the risk of consuming a relative. Other negative effects may include the increased risk of pathogen transmission as the encounter rate of hosts increases. Cannibalism, however, does not—as once believed—occur only as a result of extreme food shortage or of artificial/unnatural conditions, but may also occur under natural conditions in a variety of species.Cannibalism is prevalent in aquatic ecosystems, in which up to approximately 90% of the organisms engage in cannibalistic activity at some point in their life-cycle. Cannibalism is not restricted to carnivorous species: it also occurs in herbivores and in detritivores. Sexual cannibalism normally involves the consumption of the male by the female individual before, during or after copulation. Other forms of cannibalism include size-structured cannibalism and intrauterine cannibalism. Behavioral, physiological and morphological adaptations have evolved to decrease the rate of cannibalism in individual species.


  1. cannibal

    A cannibal is an organism, often a human, that eats the flesh or internal organs of individuals of its own species. Cannibalism can also be metaphorically used in a non-biological context to refer to destructive practices within a group, organization or society.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cannibalnoun

    a human being that eats human flesh; hence, any that devours its own kind

  2. Cannibaladjective

    relating to cannibals or cannibalism

  3. Etymology: [Cf. F. cannibale. Columbus, in a letter to the Spanish monarchs written in Oct., 1498, mentions that the people of Haiti lived in great fear of the Caribales (equivalent to E. Caribbees.), the inhabitants of the smaller Antilles; which form of the name was afterward changed into NL. Canibales, in order to express more forcibly their character by a word intelligible through a Latin root propter rabiem caninam anthropophagorum gentis. The Caribbees call themselves, in their own language. Calinago, Carinago, Calliponam, and, abbreviated, Calina, signifying a brave, from which Columbus formed his Caribales.]


  1. Cannibal

    Cannibal is the fifth studio album by Static-X, released on April 3, 2007. This is the first album from the band to contain guitar solos; every song with the exception of "Goat" has one. This is an album of firsts for the band, being the first album without an "otsego" song included, and the first album to feature the same line-up as the album preceding it. Additionally, it's the first Static-X album since Machine to have three singles released from it.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cannibal

    kan′i-bal, n. one who eats human flesh.—adj. relating to cannibalism.—n. Cann′ibalism, the practice of eating human flesh.—adj. Cannibalist′icadv. Cann′ibally (Shak.). [Sp., a corr. of Caribals (Eng. Caribs), the native name of the West India Islanders, who ate human flesh.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. cannibal

    1. The conceiver and first practitioner of the eucharistic rite. 2. A place where a missionary may have a hell of a time. 3. A Pierrot whose pranks are side-splitting. 4. One who appreciates his fellow-being at his true worth. 5. The most subtle of living ironists. 6. Any one who takes his brother man at his physical valuation.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A heathen hobo who never works, but lives on other people.

Editors Contribution

  1. cannibal

    Relating to the Canaanite (1,000-3,000 BC) worshippers of Baal who ate the flesh of the humans they sacrificed.

    Submitted by anonymous on January 21, 2019  

Etymology and Origins

  1. Cannibal

    See “Caribbean Sea.”

How to pronounce cannibal?

How to say cannibal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cannibal in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cannibal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of cannibal in a Sentence

  1. Bryan Fuller:

    NBC has allowed us to craft a television series that no other broadcast network would have dared, and kept us on the air for three seasons despite Cancelation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards Practices enforcers, [NBC Entertainment exec] Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure. 'Hannibal' is finishing his last course at NBC's table this summer, but a hungry cannibal can always dine again. And personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC.

  2. Stanisław Jerzy Lec:

    Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork?

  3. Stanislaw Lec:

    Is it progress if a cannibal uses a knife and fork

  4. Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.

  5. Gilberto Valle:

    Valle gave Mangan full custody of their daughter while he was ensnared in the cannibalism fantasy case. Following his exoneration, he filed court papers in Nevada -- where Mangan now lives -- seeking visitation with his daughter. But Valle decided to drop the case last month after a judge told him he must pay his ex-wife’s attorney fees, the Daily News reported late Sunday. Valle admitted to spending $50,000 so far on the legal battle, and said he couldn’t afford any more. I've been completely cleared but that doesn't mean my life is back to normal, this is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. He added: I argued it's in the child's best interest to have a father. Kathleen argued, 'He might murder my daughter.' I don't think she really thinks that. The newspaper said Mangan and her lawyer are not responding to requests for comment. We have great concern that Ms. Mangan will be forced into a co-parenting relationship with a man who will continue to traumatize her through his very public persona as the 'Cannibal Cop,' her attorney had previously written in court papers. Valle, who now reportedly works in construction, recentlypublished his first book.

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Translations for cannibal

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"cannibal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cannibal>.

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    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
    A epidemic
    B ambidextrous
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