- a repository for dead bodies.
- of, like, or fit for a charnel; deathlike; sepulchral.
- short for charnel house
- ghastly; sepulchral; deathly
late 14c., from Old French charnel (12c.) “fleshly,” from Late Latin carnale “graveyard,” properly neuter of adjective carnalis (see carnal). As an adjective from 1813. The Late Latin word was glossed in Old English as flæschus “flesh-house.” Charnel house is attested from 1550s.