One who eats the flesh of other sentient species (e.g., humans). We are brought up to believe, usually via cartoons, that Africa and other distant lands are populated with primitive tribes of cannibals.

See also Cannibal: the Musical.

I have a friend who is an ER nurse. One night a patient was brought in who was psychotic freaking-out, but evidently, not via drugs. The patient was placed in a waiting room and a little while later, my friend entered the room, and the patient was holding his hand in front of his eye, bleeding. She asked him what happened. He removed his hand. His eye had offended him and he ate it. She called in a doctor. The doc asked "Does it taste like chicken?" "No, more like fish."

Can"ni*bal (?), n. [Cf. F. cannibale. Columbus, in a letter to the Spanish monarchs written in Oct., 1498, mentions that the people of Hayti lived in great fear of the Caribales (equivalent to E. Caribbees.), the inhabitants of the smaller Antilles; which form of the name was afterward changed into NL. Canibales, in order to express more forcibly their character by a word intelligible through a Latin root "propter rabiem caninam anthropophagorum gentis." The Caribbees call themselves, in their own language. Calinago, Carinago, Calliponam, and, abbreviated, Calina, signifying a brave, from which Columbus formed his Caribales.]

A human being that eats human flesh; hence, any that devours its own kind.



© Webster 1913.

Can"ni*bal (?), a.

Relating to cannibals or cannibalism.

"Cannibal terror."



© Webster 1913.

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