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Borrowed from French macabre, whose etymology is uncertain. Possibly from the term danse macabre, most commonly believed to be from corruption of the biblical name Maccabees; compare Latin Chorea Machabaeorum.
Another theory derives the French term (through Spanish macabro) from Arabic مَقَابِر (maqābir, “cemeteries”), plural of مَقْبَرَة (maqbara) or مَقْبُرَة (maqbura).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˌməˈkɑː.bɹə/, /ˌməˈkɑː.bə(ɹ)/
- (US) IPA(key): /məˈkɑb/, /ˌməˈkɑ.bɹə/, /ˌməˈkɑ.bɚ/
Audio (US) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɑːbə(ɹ), (US) -ɑb
macabre (comparative more macabre, superlative most macabre)
- Representing or personifying death.
- 1941, George C. Booth, Mexico's School-made Society, page 106:
- There are four fundamental figures. One is a man measuring and comparing his world […] In front of him is a macabre figure, a cadaver ready to be dissected. This symbolizes man serving mankind. The third figure is the scientist, the man who makes use of the information gathered in the first two fields of mensurable science.
- Obsessed with death or the gruesome.
- 1993, Theodore Ziolkowski, “Wagner's Parsifal between Mystery and Mummery”, in Werner Sollors, editor, The Return of Thematic Criticism, page 274-275:
- Indeed, in the 1854 draft of Tristan he planned to have Parzival visit the dying knight, and both operas display the same macabre obsession with bloody gore and festering wounds.
- Ghastly, shocking, terrifying.
- 1927, H. P. Lovecraft, “Introduction”, in Supernatural Horror in Literature, published 1938:
- The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life.
- Synonyms: ghastly, horrifying, shocking, terrifying
representing or personifying death
obsessed with death
ghastly, shocking, terrifying
- Danse Macabre on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
macabre (feminine macabra, masculine and feminine plural macabres)
From Danse Macabre (“dance of death”), from Old French, usually said to be from Macabé (“Maccabee”), in reference to a mystery play depicting their slaughter. See Maccabee.
macabre (plural macabres)
- → Portuguese: macabro
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
- ^ “macabre”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, →ISBN.
- ^ Roberts, Edward A. (2014) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Spanish Language with Families of Words based on Indo-European Roots, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN
- “macabre”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
macabre f pl
- English terms borrowed from French
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