Definition of morgue in English:



  • 1A mortuary.

    ‘the cadavers were bagged and removed to the city morgue’
    • ‘The two bodies were transferred to the city morgue in Fairview around midday for post-mortem tests.’
    • ‘They offered to pay $4,325 toward the funeral in addition to the casket and transportation to the morgue.’
    • ‘The local hospitals and morgues have only 8 bodies, all civilians.’
    • ‘Medical samples such as human tissue, blood, and other bodily fluids, are taken from the morgue to the laboratory to be tested.’
    • ‘Postmortems on bodies are usually carried out in Dublin in the city morgue, or nationwide in hospital mortuaries.’
    • ‘At the city morgue, workers nailed together coffins and put some of the dead in an ambulance to transport them to cemeteries.’
    • ‘A post-mortem was carried out at the city morgue after the body parts were removed from the Royal Canal.’
    • ‘I also needed to visit the morgue to check out the dead woman again.’
    • ‘The body was then exhumed and taken to the city morgue in Marino where a post-mortem was carried out.’
    • ‘However, they refused to outline the cause of the deaths until the State Pathologist examined the bodies, which were last night at the morgue in the General Hospital.’
    • ‘Shortly after that, his body was taken to the city morgue for autopsy.’
    • ‘SAS troopers also spend about a week in a morgue, observing post-mortem examinations to develop an understanding of anatomy.’
    • ‘For some reason, he had crossed his home address off his passport, so his body went unidentified in the city morgue for three days.’
    • ‘His body lay unrecognised in the city morgue for three days.’
    • ‘Dozens of family members wandered desperately between hospitals and morgues where they looked over badly burned bodies.’
    • ‘Relatives of the dead headed to the city morgue for the grisly task of identifying their loved ones.’
    • ‘Her body had already been taken to the morgue at the hospital.’
    • ‘But mostly, they end up cold and lifeless in morgues.’
    • ‘On the way to the morgue, a police officer heard the man gasp for air and they immediately took him to the emergency unit at the nearest hospital.’
    • ‘It was impossible to independently verify the death toll, but the hospital morgue was so full yesterday that five corpses had been laid outside under blankets.’
    mortuary, funeral parlour, funeral chapel, funeral home
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used in reference to a place that is quiet, gloomy, or cold.
      ‘she put us in that draughty morgue of a sitting room’
      • ‘This beautiful chateau had gone from a boarding house to a morgue in just one day.’
      • ‘‘But it amounts to a morgue,’ Jen quietly agreed, shivering slightly at the reduced temperatures in the small room.’
  • 2informal A newspaper's collection of miscellaneous information for use in future obituaries.

    ‘a full-time obituaries editor in charge of the morgue’
    • ‘There has been the constant battle to gain access to the pre-Internet newspaper clip morgues of papers, some of which long ago went out of business.’
    • ‘In the 1940s the News began using photographs in the paper, and, consequently building its morgue’
    • ‘Frank then heads to the local newspaper to visit their morgue.’
    • ‘He was in charge of the clippings morgue at the newspaper.’
    • ‘Newspapers keep a "morgue" to provide writers and editors with a reference collection of information, opinion, and images for future news reporting, feature writing, and opinion pieces.’


Early 19th century: from French, originally the name of a building in Paris where bodies were kept until identified.