AskDefine | Define macabre

Dictionary Definition

macabre adj : shockingly repellent; inspiring horror; "ghastly wounds"; "the grim aftermath of the bombing"; "the grim task of burying the victims"; "a grisly murder"; "gruesome evidence of human sacrifice"; "macabre tales of war and plague in the Middle ages"; "macabre tortures conceived by madmen" [syn: ghastly, grim, grisly, gruesome]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From macabro, from مقابر cemetery, plural of مقبرة

Pronunciation

  • RP:
    • /məˈkɑːbrə/
  • US
    • /məˈkɑːb/
    • /məˈkɑːbɚ/

Adjective

  1. representing or personifying death
  2. obsessed with death or the gruesome
  3. ghastly

Translations

representing or personifying death
  • Basque: makabro
  • Catalan: macabre
  • Dutch: macaber
  • German: makaber
  • Portuguese: macabro
  • Romanian: macabru
  • Romansch: macaber
  • Spanish: macabro
obsessed with death
  • Romanian: macabru
ghastly
  • German: grausig
  • Romanian: îngrozitor

Derived terms

Adjective

French

Pronunciation

/ma.kabʁ/|lang=fr

Adjective

Synonyms

Derived terms

Italian

Adjective

  1. Feminine plural of macabro

Romanian

Pronunciation

Adjective

macabre

Extensive Definition

Macabre is a term applied to a type of artistic or literary works, characterized by a grim or ghastly atmosphere. In these works, there is an emphasis on the details and symbols of death. Macabre themes are often preoccupations in the Goth subculture. Themes are usually deliberate.

Etymology

The etymology of the word "macabre" is uncertain. According to Gaston Paris it first occurs in the form macabre in Jean le Fèvre's Respit de la mort (1376), Je fis de Macabré la danse, and he takes this accented form to be the true one, and traces it in the name of the first painter of the subject. The more usual explanation is based on the Latin name, Machabaeorum chorea (Dance of Maccabees). The seven tortured brothers, with their mother and Eleazar were prominent figures on this hypothesis in the supposed dramatic dialogues. Other connections have been suggested, as for example with St. Macarius, or Macaire, the hermit, who, according to Vasari, is to be identified with the figure pointing to the decaying corpses in the Pisan Triumph of Death, or with an Arabic word maqaber (مقابر), cemetery. Another claim is that the word "Macabre" comes from the two Hebrew words "מן הקבר " (Min Hakever), meaning "from the grave".

See also

Notes

macabre in Spanish: Macabro
macabre in Italian: Iconografia della morte

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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