What does carrion mean?

Definitions for carrion
ˈkær i əncar·rion

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. carrionnoun

    the dead and rotting body of an animal; unfit for human food


  1. carrionnoun

    Dead flesh; carcasses.

    Vultures feed on carrion.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Carrionadjective

    Relating to carcases; feeding upon carcases.

    Etymology: from the subst.

    Match to match I have encounter’d him,
    And made a prey for carrion kites and crows,
    Ev’n of the bonny beasts he lov’d so well. William Shakespeare, H. VI.

    The charity of our death-bed visits from one another, is much at a rate with that of a carrion crow to a sheep; we smell a carcase. Roger L'Estrange.

  2. CARRIONnoun

    Etymology: charogne, Fr.

    They did eat the dead carrions, and one another soon after; insomuch that the very carcases they scraped out of their graves. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    It is I,
    That, lying by the violet in the sun,
    Do, as the carrion does, not as the flower. William Shakespeare.

    This foul deed shall smell above the earth,
    With carrion men groaning for burial. William Shakespeare, J. Cæsar.

    You’ll ask me why I rather chuse to have
    A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
    Three thousand ducats. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    Ravens are seen in flocks where a carrion lies, and wolves in herds to run down a deer. William Temple.

    Sheep, oxen, horses fall; and heap’d on high,
    The diff’ring species in confusion lie,
    Till, warn’d by frequent ills, the way they found,
    To lodge their lothsome carrion under ground. Dryden.

    Criticks, as they are birds of prey, have ever a natural inclination to carrion. Alexander Pope.

    Shall we send that foolish carrion, Mrs. Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Not all that pride that makes thee swell,
    As big as thou dost blown up veal; Nor all thy tricks and slights to cheat,
    Sell all thy carrion for good meat. Hudibras.

    The wolves will get a breakfast by my death,
    Yet scarce enough their hunger to supply,
    For love has made me carrion ere I die. Dryden.


  1. Carrion

    Carrion (from Latin caro 'meat') is the decaying flesh of dead animals, including human flesh.


  1. carrion

    Carrion refers to the decaying flesh of dead animals. It is often used in the context of scavengers, like vultures or hyenas, which feed on such dead and decaying matter.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Carrionnoun

    the dead and putrefying body or flesh of an animal; flesh so corrupted as to be unfit for food

  2. Carrionnoun

    a contemptible or worthless person; -- a term of reproach

  3. Carrionadjective

    of or pertaining to dead and putrefying carcasses; feeding on carrion

  4. Etymology: [OE. caroyne, OF. caroigne, F. charogne, LL. caronia, fr. L. caro flesh Cf. Crone, Crony.]


  1. Carrion

    Carrion refers to the dead and decaying flesh of an animal. Carrion is an important food source for large carnivores and omnivores in most ecosystems. Examples of carrion-eaters include vultures, hawks, eagles, hyenas, Virginia Opossum, Tasmanian Devils, coyotes, Komodo dragons, and burying beetles. Many invertebrates like the burying beetles, as well as maggots of calliphorid flies and Flesh-flies also eat carrion, playing an important role in recycling nitrogen and carbon in animal remains. Carrion begins to decay the moment of the animal's death, and it will increasingly attract insects and breed bacteria. Not long after the animal has died, its body will begin to exude a foul odor caused by the presence of bacteria and the emission of cadaverine and putrescine. Some plants and fungi smell like decomposing carrion and attract insects that aid in reproduction. Plants that exhibit this behavior are known as carrion flowers. Stinkhorn mushrooms are examples of fungi with this characteristic. The word carrion is often used in Danish mythology to describe animals that have been sacrificed and animals that have been killed due to the gods' fury.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Carrion

    kar′i-un, n. the dead and putrid body or flesh of any animal: anything vile.—adj. relating to, or feeding on, putrid flesh.—n. Carr′ion-crow, a species of crow which feeds on carrion, small animals, &c. [Fr. carogne—Low L. caronia—L. caro, carnis, flesh.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Carrion is ranked #3464 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Carrion surname appeared 10,316 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 4 would have the surname Carrion.

    87% or 8,981 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    9.1% or 941 total occurrences were White.
    1.8% or 192 total occurrences were Black.
    1.4% or 145 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 33 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.2% or 24 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce carrion?

How to say carrion in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of carrion in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of carrion in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of carrion in a Sentence

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche:

    Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for carrion

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for carrion »


Find a translation for the carrion definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"carrion." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/carrion>.

Discuss these carrion definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for carrion? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    an embarrassing mistake
    • A. exacerbate
    • B. caddie
    • C. flub
    • D. monish

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for carrion: