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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ From a distance, their posture on a ridge is that of a crow on carrion.
▪ Huge carrion birds gorged on the flesh.
▪ Humans don't necessarily get sick from eating carrion.
▪ Most of its prey are ducks and seabirds, fish and carrion.
▪ The black birds struggled out, a thousand of them, bright-beaked, anxious to find carrion.
▪ Unlike most other fabled beasts it preferred to scavenge carrion from the forest floor rather than kill for fresh meat.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Carrion \Car"ri*on\, a. Of or pertaining to dead and putrefying carcasses; feeding on carrion.

A prey for carrion kites.

Carrion beetle (Zo["o]l.), any beetle that feeds habitually on dead animals; -- also called sexton beetle and burying beetle. There are many kinds, belonging mostly to the family Silphid[ae].

Carrion buzzard (Zo["o]l.), a South American bird of several species and genera (as Ibycter, Milvago, and Polyborus), which act as scavengers. See Caracara.

Carrion crow, the common European crow ( Corvus corone) which feeds on carrion, insects, fruits, and seeds.


Carrion \Car"ri*on\, n. [OE. caroyne, OF. caroigne, F. charogne, LL. caronia, fr. L. caro flesh Cf. Crone, Crony.]

  1. The dead and putrefying body or flesh of an animal; flesh so corrupted as to be unfit for food.

    They did eat the dead carrions.

  2. A contemptible or worthless person; -- a term of reproach. [Obs.] ``Old feeble carrions.''

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 13c., carione, from Anglo-French carogne (Old North French caroigne; Old French charogne, 12c., "carrion, corpse," Modern French charogne), from Vulgar Latin *caronia "carcass" (source of Italian carogna, Spanish carroña "carrion"), from Latin caro "meat" (see carnage).


n. 1 dead flesh; carcasses. 2 (context obsolete derogatory English) A contemptible or worthless person.

  1. n. dead and rotting flesh; unfit for human food

  2. the dead and rotting body of an animal


Carrion (from the Latin "caro", meaning "meat") refers to the dead and decaying flesh of an animal.

Carrion is an important food source for large carnivores and omnivores in most ecosystems. Examples of carrion-eaters (or scavengers) include vultures, hawks, eagles, hyenas, Virginia opossum, Tasmanian devils, coyotes, and Komodo dragons. Many invertebrates such as the carrion and burying beetles, as well as maggots of calliphorid flies and flesh-flies also eat carrion, playing an important role in recycling nitrogen and carbon in animal remains.

Carrion begins to decay the moment of the animal's death, and it will increasingly attract insects and breed bacteria. Not long after the animal has died, its body will begin to exude a foul odor caused by the presence of bacteria and the emission of cadaverine and putrescine.

Some plants and fungi smell like decomposing carrion and attract insects that aid in reproduction. Plants that exhibit this behavior are known as carrion flowers. Stinkhorn mushrooms are examples of fungi with this characteristic.

Sometimes carrion is used to describe an infected carcass that is diseased and should not be touched. An example of carrion being used to describe dead and rotting bodies in literature may be found in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar:

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial. (III.i)

Another example can be found in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe when the title character kills an unknown bird for food but finds "its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing".

Carrión (river)

The Carrión is a river in northern Spain. Its source is in the mountain range called Fuentes Carrionas, and it is a tributary of the river Pisuerga. The entire course of the river is within the province of Palencia.

Carrión (surname)

Carrión was taken as surname by D. Álvaro de Carreño during the times of Alfonso II El Casto (791-842) after reclaiming the Spanish villa of Carrión de los Condes from the Moors by way of a " Trojan Horse" tactic.

See Carrion (disambiguation) for a list of famous people with this surname.

Carrion (disambiguation)

Carrion refers to the carcass of a dead animal.

Carrion or Carrión may also refer to:

  • Carrión de los Condes, a municipality in northern Spain
  • Carrión de los Céspedes, a municipality in southern Spain
  • Carrión de Calatrava, a municipality in central Spain
  • Carrión (river), a river in Spain
  • Adolfo Carrión, Jr., a Bronx politician
  • Alejandro Carrión, an Ecuadorian writer and journalist
  • Benjamín Carrión, an Ecuadorian writer
  • Carrión (surname)
  • Clodoveo Carrión Mora, an Ecuadorian naturalist
  • Daniel Alcides Carrión, a Peruvian doctor who described Oroya fever
  • Enrique Carrión, a Cuban boxer
  • Jerónimo Carrión, an Ecuadorian president
  • Jerónimo de Carrión (1660-1721), Spanish composer
  • Noemí Carrión, a Spanish singer and actress
  • Pedro Carrión, a Cuban boxer
  • Carrion (band), a metalcore band from Manchester, England
  • Carrion, former name of Poltergeist (band), a Swiss power thrash metal band
  • "Carrion", a song from Fiona Apple's Tidal (album)
  • "Carrion" a song from Horizons (Parkway Drive album)
  • " Carrion/Apologies to Insect Life", a song by the band British Sea Power
  • Carrion beetle, a family of carnivorous beetles
  • Carrion crow (Corvus corone), a bird of western Europe and eastern Asia
  • Carrion (comics), a villain in Spider-Man comics
Carrion (comics)

Carrion is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is usually depicted as an enemy of Spider-Man. He first appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man #25.

Carrion emerged as part of a storyline that was a sequel to the original Clone Saga and as a result has one of the most complicated histories of any Spider-Man villain which has been retconned several times as successive writers changed the status of the various clones, the plans and motivations of Professor Miles Warren and other aspects from the stories. Often these changes took place in stories which did not directly involve Carrion, resulting in further stories trying to tie up gaps. No fewer than three separate incarnations have been encountered.

Usage examples of "carrion".

The outriding amphicyons galumphed stoically on either side, sometimes closing in, so that she saw their evil yellow eyes or smelled the carrion reek of their bodies.

But as soon as the bigtooth moved, two other wolves darted in and tore at the carrion.

As befitted a paxman, Orain kept close to Dom Carlo, but as they were spreading their blankets, and Romilly checking the birds and feeding them the last of the carrion - the men grumbled and snarled about the smell, but no one would gainsay Dom Carlo.

The chervines, disliking the carrion smell that clung to the birds, were stamping restlessly and moving around with little, troubled snorts and pawings.

Between the carrion scene and some salmonella tacos served up by the Nogales-based caterer, as well as repeated propositions by an Arab coproducer with halitosis that made her eyes water, Molly was sick for three days.

In my note to Carthoris I had given explicit directions for locating the Carrion Caves, impressing upon him the necessity for making entrance to the country beyond through this avenue, and not to attempt under any circumstances to cross the ice-barrier with a fleet.

She was coated in brown, downy feathers, a useful camouflage in the forest fringes where her kind had evolved as hunters of carrion and eggs.

It was already carrion and, as such, would draw not only his watch birds but also any gobbes within sniffing distance.

Yes, hawks feed on fresh-caught food, they must be tamed by starvation into feeding on carrion.

Casting carrion into the rivers is forbidden, and muckheaps are most strictly regulated here in Manchester.

Emperor Mei Saka is dead, eaten by carrion apes and his bones forgotten.

You think of your readers, those carrion feeders, and all your typesetters, those wretched abettors, and saber-whetters.

A legate entered every dwelling in the city to make sure no precious thing remained, while Cassius himself led three of the legions into the countryside and stripped it barer than carrion birds a carcass.

The eyes of the corpse were both gone, the lips and tongue and most of the flesh of the face shredded away from while bone by the sharp beaks of the carrion birds.

He seems to subsist almost wholly on the carcases of oxen, mules and horses that have dropped out of emigrant trains and died, and upon windfalls of carrion, and occasional legacies of offal bequeathed to him by white men who have been opulent enough to have something better to butcher than condemned army bacon.