Macabre Definition

mə-käbrə, mə-käb, -käbər
Upsetting or horrifying by association with death or injury; gruesome.
American Heritage
Grim and horrible; gruesome; ghastly.
Webster's New World
Constituting or including a representation of death.
American Heritage

Origin of Macabre

  • Possibly from Spanish macabro, from Arabic مقابر (maqābir, “tombs, cemeteries"), plural of مقبرة (maqbara or maqbura) or of مقبر (maqbar), but the Arabic etymology is rejected by Romance linguists.

    From Wiktionary

  • Ultimately from Old French (Danse) Macabré (dance) of death perhaps from alteration of Macabe Maccabee from Latin Maccabaeus from Greek Makkabios

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Most commonly believed to be from corruption of the biblical name Maccabees; compare French danse macabre, presumably from Latin Chorea Machabaeorum.

    From Wiktionary

  • Possibly from Amharic "maqaber" for grave, but this etymology remains rejected by most linguistics.

    From Wiktionary

  • From French macabre, whose etymology is uncertain.

    From Wiktionary

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