Definition of macabre in English:

macabre

adjective

  • Disturbing because concerned with or causing a fear of death.

    ‘a macabre series of murders’
    • ‘The story of secrecy, scientific ethics and national security is macabre, grisly and disturbing.’
    • ‘The Archbishop Turpin, disturbed by this macabre turn of events, decided to examine the corpse.’
    • ‘Towards midnight a macabre scene of pain and death dominated the capital.’
    • ‘The atmosphere it creates visualizes the most grim and macabre nature of the artist.’
    • ‘The macabre theme is emphasized by an Escher-inspired set where stairs lead up and down into unknown places.’
    • ‘And what happened next was 70 persons butchered and burnt in a macabre dance of death.’
    • ‘Death at such an early age and in such a macabre manner seems so unfair.’
    • ‘Ms Taylor has spoken about how her daughter spent a lot of time in suicide chatrooms with a macabre obsession with death.’
    • ‘Isolation, fear, death, blood, the macabre, pain: this film has it all - and then some.’
    • ‘Modern pharmaceutical research is playing Dr Hart's law out on a macabre global scale.’
    • ‘A perfect day had begun with a wedding reception in a marquee at the family home, but had ended with the most appalling and macabre tragedy.’
    • ‘During a Halloween party, the Simpsons tell three horrifying tales of the macabre.’
    • ‘I attended a spectacle which was comic, realistic, horrifying, macabre.’
    • ‘Horrified at the realisation we are all drawn to the macabre.’
    • ‘It had scores of documentary photographs of case studies and procedures, and was not nearly as macabre as it may sound.’
    • ‘Over one hundred people were reportedly killed in this macabre death of dance.’
    • ‘As it is I feel like a killer, and it's more than a little macabre having a Chamber Of Death in the corner of the lounge.’
    • ‘I didn't mind at all when Brenda called it macabre or morbid or whatever she said.’
    • ‘It's not gory, although it is quite macabre for quite a large portion of the plot.’
    gruesome, grisly, grim, gory, morbid, ghastly, unearthly, lurid, grotesque, hideous, horrific, horrible, horrifying, horrid, horrendous, terrifying, frightening, frightful, fearsome, shocking, dreadful, appalling, loathsome, repugnant, repulsive, sickening
    black, weird, unhealthy, sick
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: from French macabre, from Danse Macabre ‘dance of death’, from Old French, perhaps from Macabé ‘a Maccabee’, with reference to a miracle play depicting the slaughter of the Maccabees.

Pronunciation

macabre

/məˈkɑːbr(ə)/