M m


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [muh-kah-bruh, -kahb, -kah-ber]
    • /məˈkɑ brə, -ˈkɑb, -ˈkɑ bər/
    • /məˈkɑː.brə/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [muh-kah-bruh, -kahb, -kah-ber]
    • /məˈkɑ brə, -ˈkɑb, -ˈkɑ bər/

Definitions of macabre word

  • adjective macabre gruesome and horrifying; ghastly; horrible. 1
  • adjective macabre of, pertaining to, dealing with, or representing death, especially its grimmer or uglier aspect. 1
  • adjective macabre of or suggestive of the allegorical dance of death. 1
  • noun macabre Disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury. 1
  • abbreviation MACABRE morbid 1
  • adjective macabre gruesome, grim 1

Information block about the term

Origin of macabre

First appearance:

before 1400
One of the 24% oldest English words
1400-50; < French; compare late Middle English Macabrees daunce < Middle French danse (de) Macabré, of uncertain origin; perhaps to be identified with Medieval Latin chorēa Machabaeōrum a representation of the deaths of Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers, but evidence is lacking; the French pronunciation with mute e is a misreading of the Middle French forms

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Macabre


macabre popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 84% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

macabre usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for macabre

adj macabre

  • spooky — like or befitting a spook or ghost; suggestive of spooks.
  • ghastly — shockingly frightful or dreadful; horrible: a ghastly murder.
  • ghoulish — strangely diabolical or cruel; monstrous: a ghoulish and questionable sense of humor.
  • grisly — gristly.
  • morbid — suggesting an unhealthy mental state or attitude; unwholesomely gloomy, sensitive, extreme, etc.: a morbid interest in death.

adjective macabre

  • chilling — If you describe something as chilling, you mean it is frightening.
  • horrific — causing horror.

Antonyms for macabre

adj macabre

  • pleasant — pleasing, agreeable, or enjoyable; giving pleasure: pleasant news.
  • pleasing — giving pleasure; agreeable; gratifying: a pleasing performance.
  • pretty — pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness: a pretty face.
  • cheerful — Someone who is cheerful is happy and shows this in their behaviour.
  • living — having life; being alive; not dead: living persons.

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See also

Matching words

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