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Alternative forms[edit]


cannibal +‎ -ise


cannibalise (third-person singular simple present cannibalises, present participle cannibalising, simple past and past participle cannibalised)

  1. (transitive) To eat (parts of) another of one's own species.
    The female black widow spider is known to cannibalise the male.
  2. (transitive) To remove parts of (a machine, etc) for use in other similar machines.
    • 1991, Anthony Kemp, The SAS at War 1941–1945 (John Murray (Publishers) Ltd):
      When the attack ceased they managed to cannibalize parts to get one truck going and set off for the rendezvous with Fraser, only to find nobody there.
  3. (transitive, business) To reduce sales or market share (for one of one's own products) by introducing another.
    • 2012, electronista, October 17, 2012:
      iPad mini to cannibalize 1M full-size iPad sales.
  4. Rework old material; rehash.
    • 2012 August 21, Jason Heller, “The Darkness: Hot Cakes (Music Review)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      When the album succeeds, such as on the swaggering, Queen-esque “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us,” it does so on The Darkness’ own terms—that is, as a random ’80s-cliché generator. But with so many tired, lazy callbacks to its own threadbare catalog (including “Love Is Not The Answer,” a watery echo of the epic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” from 2003’s Permission To Land), Hot Cakes marks the point where The Darkness has stopped cannibalizing the golden age of stadium rock and simply started cannibalizing itself. And, despite Hawkins’ inveterate crotch-grabbing, there was never that much meat there to begin with.

Derived terms[edit]





  1. first-person singular present indicative of cannibaliser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of cannibaliser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of cannibaliser
  4. first-person singular present subjunctive of cannibaliser
  5. second-person singular imperative of cannibaliser