One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- short for charnel house
- ‘The charnel was pulled down after the Reformation.’
- ‘Some say it was merely a charnel pit - a functional repository of massed human bone.’
- ‘Most knights' bones never got into charnels; they were safely enclosed in tombs inside a church.’
- ‘These charnel facilities consisted of a shallow limestone-lined pit, made from a single layer of horizontal slabs that were laid out on a prepared subsoil surface.’
- ‘Undoubtedly the charnel features had many other meanings to the people who used them, ones that leave no archaeologically identifiable traces.’
Associated with death.‘I gagged on the charnel stench of the place’
- ‘It is argued, based on archaeological and ethnohistoric data, that the layout of the mound, burials, and charnel features is patterned after Native American notions of the cosmos.’
- ‘The symbolic suitability of dark and dismal weather, however, is not the main reason Mary Shelley selected this particular month for the nativity of Victor's charnel creature.’
- ‘A foul odor of decaying flesh permeated the air of this subterranean charnel chamber.’
- ‘A charnel stench filled the air and made them recoil in disgust.’
- ‘Between them both sides lost half a million men and how many still lie buried in that charnel soil may never be known.’
Late Middle English: from Old French, from medieval Latin carnale, neuter (used as a noun) of carnalis ‘relating to flesh’ (see carnal).
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