Definition of carnage in US English:



  • The killing of a large number of people.

    ‘the bombing was timed to cause as much carnage as possible’
    • ‘He was one of the few journalists who described the human carnage at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.’
    • ‘It is time we became more shocked by the terrible carnage on our roads.’
    • ‘The unimaginable carnage he witnessed at the front is captured in the moving words of a poem he wrote that day.’
    • ‘The next morning, they wake to a scene of carnage, with no recollection of having fallen asleep.’
    • ‘The only problems I can see with the film are it's length and the will to show scenes of carnage on the streets of New York.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of British servicemen died in the terrible carnage of the Second World War.’
    • ‘The family were confronted by scenes of carnage when they returned later in the day.’
    • ‘Drink driving used to be socially acceptable, and the result was carnage on our roads.’
    • ‘For this day of carnage and tears there can be no justification or excuse.’
    • ‘The doors were blown off the stables and inside was a scene of carnage.’
    • ‘The Christmas carnage on the roads is a phenomenon of which the police are also aware.’
    • ‘He said drinking and speeding were the two biggest causes of carnage on the roads.’
    • ‘Trenches became mass graves in scenes of terrible carnage as 1,000 men fell dead or wounded.’
    • ‘Extend this thinking to our roads and there would be even more carnage.’
    • ‘The United Nations was set up after two wars involving the worst carnage imaginable to try and prevent a repeat.’
    • ‘There was horror everywhere, but even amid such carnage, some sights were almost too much to bear.’
    • ‘They were doing their jobs, not taking pleasure in creating random carnage.’
    • ‘It is simply a desire for a better kind of future out of carnage and loss.’
    • ‘These promised signs should be put in place before there is more carnage on that stretch of road.’
    • ‘In the Philippines campaign, the fight to liberate Manila ended in carnage.’
    slaughter, massacre, mass murder, mass destruction, butchery, bloodbath, indiscriminate bloodshed, bloodletting, annihilation, destruction, decimation, havoc
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Early 17th century: from French, from Italian carnaggio, from medieval Latin carnaticum, from Latin caro, carn- ‘flesh’.