Body Parts: Carnem

Flesh out your vocabulary with this list.

For more dissections of words with Latin and Greek anatomy, check out these lists: corpus, caput, ora, os, dens, gaster, neuron, manus, ped, podos, derma, carnem, os, cor, kardia, psyche

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. carnal
    of or relating to the body or flesh
    What better way to humanize our Olympians: They’re subject to carnal urges just like us.Salon (Jul 28, 2012)
    carnem (flesh) + al (suffix forming adjectives)
    The adjective usually has a negative tone that lowers humans to the level of animals, who are "marked by the appetites and passions of the body." But the example sentence uses the word to connect humans to Olympians. The Olympians are the modern-day Olympics athletes, who are idolized like the ancient Greek gods. The comparison knocks the Olympians from their podiums and makes "carnal urges" seem like an ordinary human concern.
  2. carnalize
    debase through carnal gratification
    Far from demure and averse to shading her demands, she specializes in carnalizing the domestic life.Slate (Sep 18, 2014)
    carnem (flesh) + al (suffix forming adjectives) + ize (suffix forming verbs)
    The negative tone of the word is seen in the definition: "debase" means "corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality." The example sentence also suggests this by making carnalizing the opposite of being demure ("demure" may come from an Old French phrase that refers to good manners).
  3. carnage
    the savage and excessive killing of many people
    Witnesses to the massacre, which started just before noon Friday, described scenes of chaos and carnage.Washington Post (Jun 27, 2015)
    carnem (flesh) + age (suffix forming nouns)
    The Latin and French roots of the synonyms "carnage" and "massacre" originally referred only to the slaughter of animals for the purpose of eating their flesh. The words took on a savage tone when English applied them to the killing of people.
  4. carnivore
    any animal that feeds on flesh
    The presence of carnivores influenced where the impala fed, while the tree defence mechanism influenced what the herbivores ate.BBC (Oct 16, 2014)
    carnem (flesh) + vorare (to devour)
    Most animals fit into one of three categories of eaters: carnivores, herbivores ("herba" means "plant"), or omnivores ("omni" means "all"). But people have come up with more specific terms to describe their diverse diets. For example, a piscivore eats mostly fish, while a pescetarian eats like a vegetarian, but will also chew on the flesh of fish and shellfish.
  5. carrion
    the dead and rotting body of an animal; unfit for human food
    Washington’s political detritus, carrion and offal are unpalatable even to vultures.Washington Post
    carnem (flesh)
    The change in spelling is due to its passage through different versions of French. In the example sentence, the vultures are literal, and their rejection of Washington's figurative carrion emphasizes the unfit and rotting nature of failed politicians and policies. This is further emphasized by the surrounding words "detritus" ("the remains of something that has been destroyed") and "offal" ("viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal").
  6. carnassial
    (of a tooth) adapted for shearing flesh
    In the cheek-series there is one specially modified tooth in each jaw, to which the name of “sectorial” or “ carnassial” is applied.Various
    carnem (flesh) + al (suffix forming adjectives)
    The word originated as an adjective, but it can stand alone as a noun, since "tooth" is implied. In carnivores, the carnassials are the pairs of upper and lower molars on both sides of the jaw. The shape, size, and sharpness of the carnassials depend on how carnivorous the animals are. For wild animals that are largely carnivorous, the loss or decay of their carnassials can result in starvation.
  7. incarnadine
    redden or make flesh-colored
    The sun shone again through the tall window, blood-red as before; grass and sky were as richly incarnadined.Hornung, E. W. (Ernest William)
    in (prefix meaning "into") + carnem (flesh) + ine (suffix forming adjectives)
    The word functions as an adjective in the example sentence, but the "d" at its end means that it was formed from its use as a verb (this makes it a participial adjective). Nowadays, the color of flesh is debatable, so as seen in the parallel descriptions of the sun, grass, and sky, "incarnadine" has come to mean "make blood red."
  8. incarnate
    make concrete and real
    Thought, in order to exist, must incarnate itself in language.Sabatier, Auguste
    in (prefix meaning "into") + carnem (flesh) + ate (suffix forming verbs or adjectives)
    In comparison to thought, language is seen as more incarnate ("possessing or existing in bodily form"). But the use of "incarnate" as an adjective often implies a comparison between an idea expressed in language and its embodiment in physical form. This can be seen in the phrase "evil incarnate" and its application to a specific person.
  9. incarnation
    a new personification of a familiar idea
    In all its incarnations, the Bible may well have been the world’s best-selling book, but not necessarily the best read.New York Times (Apr 8, 2015)
    in (prefix meaning "into") + carnem (flesh) + ation (suffix forming nouns)
    An incarnation can also be "time passed in a particular bodily form." An example is Jesus Christ, who lived about 30 years as a human, but is believed to be an immortal son of God. Figuratively, an incarnation can be the personification of abstract ideas. Four examples are the apocalyptic horsemen representing Famine, Death, War, and Conquest.
  10. reincarnation
    a second or new birth
    Tibetan Buddhists believe the current Dalai Lama is the 14th reincarnation of a holy monk who lived in the 14th century.Time (Mar 13, 2015)
    re (prefix meaning "again") + in (prefix meaning "into") + carnem (flesh) + ation (suffix forming nouns)
    The example sentence makes reincarnation sound like an honorable reward for living a holy life. But Buddhists see life as suffering, which one cannot be released from until enlightened. A person who has achieved enlightenment can then choose to put off entering nirvana and continue reincarnation in order to show others the way.
  11. disincarnate
    make immaterial; remove the real essence of
    Possibly disincarnated spirits, seeing things from a higher point of view, think otherwise.Sage, Michael
    dis (prefix meaning "do the opposite of") + in (prefix meaning "into") + carnem (flesh) + ate (suffix forming verbs)
    The phrase "disincarnated spirits" sounds repetitive, because spirits don't have any flesh to be removed (the Latin "spiritus" means "breath of life, breath of a god"). But the adjective might be there to differentiate the spirits of humans from the supernatural spirits that never possessed a bodily form.
  12. carnival
    a frenetic disturbance suggestive of a public entertainment
    By then, the fantasy of boxing as a sport like any other had started to dissipate; it was, once more, a carnival.The New Yorker (May 18, 2015)
    carnem (flesh) + levare (to lighten, raise, remove)
    The comparison of boxing to a carnival suggests a connection to chaotic carnage. But the modern sense of carnival as a circus or fair is about carnal pleasures for both children and adults. Some Christians have fun-filled carnivals to prepare for Lent (40 days of fasting to strengthen soul and remember the time Jesus spent in the desert and was tempted by the Devil).
  13. charnel
    gruesomely indicative of death or the dead
    The great charnel heap had 15,000 fresh corpses flung upon it without the French lines having yielded.Raemaekers, Louis
    carnem (flesh) + al (suffix forming adjectives)
    The change in spelling is due to its passage through French. The charnel heap mentioned in the example sentence is likely on an open battleground, but a charnel can also be a vault or building where bodies or bones are deposited.

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.