1. The dead body of an animal, especially one slaughtered for food.
2. The body of a human.
3. Remains from which the substance or character is gone: the carcass of a former empire.
4. A framework or basic structure: the carcass of a burned-out house.
[Middle English carcas, from Anglo-Norman carcais and Medieval Latin carcasium.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.