cannibal NOUN a person who eats the flesh of other human beings.
DERIVATIVES cannibalism noun cannibalistic adjective.
ORIGIN Spanish Canibales, a variant of Caribes, a West Indian people reputed to eat humans; related to CARIB(Cf. ↑Carib).

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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  • cannibal — [kan′ə bəl] n. [Sp canibal, a savage, cannibal (term used by Columbus) < Arawakan Caniba, a cannibal people; akin to Carib galibi, lit., strong men] 1. a person who eats human flesh 2. an animal that eats its own kind adj. of, resembling, or… …   English World dictionary

  • Cannibal — Can ni*bal, a. Relating to cannibals or cannibalism. Cannibal terror. Burke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cannibal — 1550s, from Sp. canibal a savage, cannibal, from Caniba, Christopher Columbus rendition of the Caribs name for themselves (see CARIBBEAN (Cf. Caribbean)). The natives were believed to be anthropophagites. Columbus, seeking evidence that he was in …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cannibal — Can ni*bal, n. [Cf. F. cannibale. Columbus, in a letter to the Spanish monarchs written in Oct., 1498, mentions that the people of Haiti lived in great fear of the Caribales (equivalent to E. Caribbees.), the inhabitants of the smaller Antilles;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cannibal — [n] beast, beastlike human aborigine, anthropophaginian, anthropophagite, anthropophagus, brute, bush dweller, cruel person, head hunter, ogre, ogress, primitive, ruffian, savage; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

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