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carrion (2 (i) is still in midland dialect use)
1. dead putrefying flesh Ham. II. ii. 184 “if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god kissing ” ; also attrib. “carrion men” Cæs. III. i. 275; esp.= feeding on carrion, e.g. “carrion flies” Rom. III. iii. 35, “carrion kites” 2H6 V. ii. 11.
2. used contemptuously (i) of a living person, as being no better than carrion Wiv. III. iii. 204, H5 IV. ii. 39 “Yon island carrions,” Rom. III. v. 157, Cæs. II. i. 130 “Old feeble carrions” ; (ii) the living human body, the flesh Mer.V. III. i. 38 “Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?” ; attrib. Mer.V. IV. i. 41 “A weight of carrion flesh.”
3. epithet of Death personified Mer.V. II. vii. 63 “A carrion Death” ; cf. John III. iv. 33 “a carrion monster like thyself” [i.e. Death].
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hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (7):
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 4.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 2.7
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 4.1
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