Definition of carcass in English:


(British carcase)


  • 1The dead body of an animal.

    ‘she saw the mud-covered carcass of a sheep’
    • ‘Relief workers say there is a high danger of epidemics because many bodies and rotting animal carcasses have not yet been disposed of.’
    • ‘There were a couple of dead animal carcasses on the ground as well.’
    • ‘As you may know, no giant squid has ever been observed alive; we've only ever recovered dead carcasses.’
    • ‘Often, during natural disasters, mosquitoes and dead animal carcasses may present disease problems.’
    • ‘Hundreds of carcases of dead sheep have been disposed of in a landfill site near Chesterfield without the prior knowledge of the local council.’
    • ‘Possessing keen vision, the vulture can see the carcasses of dead animals and the movements and activities of other scavengers, birds, or mammals from great distances.’
    • ‘Filth, carcasses of dead animals, garbage and polythene floating on the water and piling up at the embankments narrates the horrific story about the present condition of the stream.’
    • ‘But three weeks later, the rotting carcasses of dead rats had still not been collected, and were producing a nauseating smell.’
    • ‘The carcasses of the dead seals were found a week ago scattered on the stony shore at Beginish Island, close to the Great Blasket and about three miles from Dunquin.’
    • ‘The carcasses of sixteen dead wolves - some half eaten - lay stretched in a circle about the remains of the two Indian hunters.’
    • ‘Illegal poisoning may have taken place if, for instance, a large bird is found dead close to the carcass of a rabbit, or there are a number of dead animals in one place.’
    • ‘There ought to be thousands of animal carcasses and skeletons lying around.’
    • ‘Along the route the partially preserved carcasses of dead pack horses, slow to rot in the rarefied atmosphere and freezing cold, lay twisted among the boulders.’
    • ‘The dead whale carcasses would be left to rot on the beach.’
    • ‘The carcasses of thousands of dead animals had to be buried.’
    • ‘Pets should be kept from dead carcasses or bones of dead animals, which may pose a disease risk.’
    • ‘Her broom helped sweep away the clam shells discarded by scavenging racoons and the carcasses of dead mice frozen during the winter.’
    • ‘And there's a few dead sheep carcases around here as well, by the looks of things.’
    • ‘The holes were visually inspected and I found no signs of animal carcasses or discernible flesh in any of the holes.’
    • ‘The carcass of a dead donkey lies on the road, while skeletal dogs tear at its intestines.’
    corpse, cadaver, dead body, body, remains, skeleton, relics
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    1. 1.1The trunk of an animal such as a cow, sheep, or pig, for cutting up as meat.
      ‘the carcass has a high proportion of meat to bone’
      • ‘This decline was coincidental with the expansion of regional feed lots and the pre-cutting of cattle carcasses at slaughter and meat packing houses closer to the farmers.’
      • ‘While the three machines involved achieved high accuracy results in relation to conformation and meat content of the carcasses, they were less accurate in relation to fatness.’
      • ‘And we have a proper local butcher too, who cuts the meat from the carcass in front of you.’
      • ‘Stowing away on a meat truck, animal carcasses swung from hooks.’
      • ‘It is 3am and the only people on the streets are bloodstained meat porters lugging carcasses from cold-storage lorries to the butchers' aisles.’
      • ‘Lamb yield grades are also an indicator of the percent of salable meat that a carcass will yield.’
      • ‘Bureau inspectors immediately confiscated and destroyed both the carcasses and meat products.’
      • ‘At present all meat products that can be exported have an oval mark stamped on the carcass by the Meat Hygiene Service.’
      • ‘It was only after hominids began making butchering tools out of stones and got a steady supply of meat from carcasses that the brain began to expand.’
      • ‘During the course of the season the antlers are given to long standing friends of the hunt and the meat carcasses are distributed amongst the hunting landowners.’
      • ‘We are all making a difference in this world, even if all we do is to choose not to eat the carcass of a dead animal today.’
      • ‘Crow hunters went about searching for the fatter carcasses and brought the meat home, the larders having been depleted during the heavy weather when hunting was difficult and game hard to find.’
      • ‘The area would have been too boggy to make flint tools and uninhabitable for humans so experts believe this means the carcass was butchered for meat.’
      • ‘Friends of mine were always commenting how I could class myself as an animal-lover when for feeding purposes I'd sit there eating the carcass of a dead animal.’
      • ‘Scientists suspect that hominids were using these simple stone axes to hack meat off of carcasses and dig up tubers.’
      • ‘A prototype of a newly patented device tested at a large midwestern beef packing plant can successfully detect small amounts of fecal matter on meat animal carcasses.’
      • ‘He hated the dark and the fact that it was cold and there were meat carcasses hanging from hooks the whole place gave him the creeps.’
      • ‘It was a huge room, filled with supplies, with a sizeable freezer at one end and a large rolling door at the other, for moving freshly butchered carcasses to the cutting area.’
      • ‘To get as much meat from animal carcasses as possible, slaughterhouses use two methods that may contaminate meat with spinal cord tissue.’
      • ‘While tests match strains of bacteria, mixing of meat from different carcasses makes the identification of the source of contamination more difficult.’
      corpse, cadaver, dead body, body, remains, skeleton, relics
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    2. 1.2The remains of a cooked bird after all the edible parts have been removed.
      • ‘Reserve the remainder of the carcasses for the sauce.’
      • ‘Cassowaries and pigs are killed but not properly butchered, cooked, exchanged or eaten, with the carcasses discarded as if rubbish.’
      • ‘Imagine being given a bowl of stew made from a two-week old turkey carcass, half a can of mushroom soup, droopy vegetables scraped from the back of the fridge and half a leftover apple pie.’
      • ‘Cut off the wings, breast and legs and break up the carcass with a meat mallet.’
      • ‘The breasts are removed to pan-fry quickly - you can freeze the carcass to make stock later.’
      • ‘Roughly chop the remaining carcasses and set aside.’
      • ‘Stir the red wine into the roasting tin, add the carcass and cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven but do not switch it off.’
      • ‘Once the bird is picked clean, boil up the carcass, then throw in a handful or two of barley and some vegetables and revel in the glorious Christmassy smells of turkey broth filling the whole house.’
    3. 1.3humorous A person's body, living or dead.
      ‘my obsession will last while there's life in this old carcass’
      • ‘It is unarguable that 40 is older than 20, and I guess quoting Eliot says it all: how last century can a creaking old ague-ridden carcass get?’
      • ‘I've let this old carcass get as stiff as beef jerky on a cold winter morning.’
      • ‘It's now clear to me that the Alpha Male is a dinosaur, dragging his hopeless old carcass across a desolate desert and finding no water, no sustenance and is almost history.’
      • ‘Looking back, he saw ten men-six on horseback-surrounding the motionless carcass that was the old man.’
      • ‘I'm sure you still have a few years left inside that big old carcass of yours, don't you?’
      body, person, self
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    4. 1.4The structural framework of a building, ship, or piece of furniture.
      • ‘As he got nearer he could see dark smoke billowing up from the gutted carcasses of the buildings.’
      • ‘Like looking with a flashlight at the carcass of a ship decaying at the bottom of the ocean, you only see parts of it unveil through the tinted glass as you walk along the elevated platform.’
      • ‘Bowlers no longer join the attack from the Grandstand End, in front of the derelict carcass of a structure that used to be the only shelter for paying supporters when it rained - and in Derby it always rained.’
      • ‘In the end, they used two high-definition cameras to film the shores covered in ship carcasses.’
      • ‘Once there, they intend to complete their journey, leaving the dollar-tribe to rot on their stranded carcass of a ship.’
      • ‘It's like the heat, the flies, the carcasses of buildings, the broken streets and the haphazard walls coming up out of nowhere all over the city… it has become a part of life.’
      • ‘The ground floor is arranged freely around the grid of piloti that support the rectilinear carcass of accommodation above.’
      • ‘Between the new epidermis and the old carcase is an interstitial space, its width defined by the balconies of the original building.’
      • ‘The carcass of the building, and a lot of the basic fabric, I believe, is still Georgian.’
      • ‘The road into Nablus circuits the gaping carcasses of buildings that, I am told, have been destroyed by tanks; the road itself is cracked by the passage of heavily armoured tanks.’
      • ‘There was a Rris sitting on a pile of lumber with his back to us, tail twitching as the person regarded the carcass of the ship.’
      • ‘The old carcase has been enclosed in new arctic battle dress.’
      framework, frame, skeleton, shell, casing, structure, substructure, bodywork, body
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    5. 1.5The remains of something.
      ‘automotive carcasses stripped of radios, hubcaps and even body panels’
      • ‘Once a mining center, Goldfield is now a crumbling carcass, a living ghost town of 300 people.’
      • ‘Charred carcasses of cars were tossed in deep craters along entire blocks that were pulverized.’
      • ‘The fact that Naik still gives it primacy is appropriate, since we have persisted in dragging this rotting carcass of a social structure with us into the new century.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French carcois, variant of Old French charcois; in later use from French carcasse; of unknown ultimate origin.