One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- short for charnel house
- ‘Most knights' bones never got into charnels; they were safely enclosed in tombs inside a church.’
- ‘The charnel was pulled down after the Reformation.’
- ‘Some say it was merely a charnel pit - a functional repository of massed human bone.’
- ‘Undoubtedly the charnel features had many other meanings to the people who used them, ones that leave no archaeologically identifiable traces.’
- ‘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.’
Associated with death.‘I gagged on the charnel stench of the place’
- ‘Between them both sides lost half a million men and how many still lie buried in that charnel soil may never be known.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘A charnel stench filled the air and made them recoil in disgust.’
- ‘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.’
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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