carnifex

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin carnifex (butcher).

Noun[edit]

carnifex (plural carnifexes)

  1. (rare, literary) An executioner.
    • 2013, Geoffrey Hill, Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012, Oxford University Press, OCLC 833046316, page 535:
      Vorónezh: Ovid thrusts abruptly wide / the ice-locked shutters, discommodes his lyre / to Caesar's harbingers. Interrogation, / whatever is most feared. Truth's fatal vogue, / sad carnifex, self-styled of blood and wax.
  2. (rare, literary) A butcher.

Latin[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From carni(s) (flesh) +‎ -fex (suffix representing a maker or producer).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

carnifex m (genitive carnificis); third declension

  1. butcher, knacker (one who slaughters and renders worn-out livestock)[1]
  2. executioner, hangman
  3. tormenter, murderer
  4. scoundrel, villain

Declension[edit]

Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative carnifex carnificēs
Genitive carnificis carnificum
Dative carnificī carnificibus
Accusative carnificem carnificēs
Ablative carnifice carnificibus
Vocative carnifex carnificēs

Descendants[edit]

  • English: carnifex
  • Italian: carnefice
  • Portuguese: carnífice
  • Spanish: carnífice

References[edit]

  • carnifex in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • carnifex in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • carnifex in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • carnifex in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • carnifex in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin