cannibal









cannibal


noun

  1. a person who eats human flesh, especially for magical or religious purposes, as among certain tribal peoples.
  2. any animal that eats its own kind.

adjective

  1. pertaining to or characteristic of a cannibal.
  2. given to cannibalism.

noun

    1. a person who eats the flesh of other human beings
    2. (as modifier)cannibal tribes
  1. an animal that feeds on the flesh of others of its kind
n.

“human that eats human flesh,” 1550s, from Spanish canibal, caribal “a savage, cannibal,” from Caniba, Christopher Columbus’ rendition of the Caribs’ name for themselves (see Caribbean). The natives were believed to be anthropophagites. Columbus, seeking evidence that he was in Asia, thought the name meant the natives were subjects of the Great Khan. Shakespeare’s Caliban (in “The Tempest”) is from a version of this word, with -n- and -l- interchanged, found in Hakluyt’s “Voyages” (1599). The Spanish word had reached French by 1515. Used of animals from 1796. An Old English word for “cannibal” was selfæta.

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