Why was clemency trending last week?


[kan-uh-buh-lahyz] /ˈkæn ə bəˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), cannibalized, cannibalizing.
to subject to cannibalism.
to remove parts, equipment, assets, employees, etc., from (an item, product, or business) in order to use them in another:
to cannibalize old airplanes for replacement parts.
to cut into; cause to become reduced; diminish:
New products introduced in the next six months will cannibalize sales from established lines.
verb (used without object), cannibalized, cannibalizing.
to act cannibalistically; practice cannibalism.
Also, especially British, cannibalise.
Origin of cannibalize
1940-45; cannibal + -ize
Related forms
cannibalization, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cannibalize
  • There wasn't much fat to cut, not even a lot of lean left to cannibalize.
  • They want austerity now and is willing to cannibalize one of their own towards that end.
  • But those stores also tend to cannibalize each other's sales.
  • When they run out of other fish, amphibians or even small mammals, they will cannibalize their own.
  • cannibalize means to remove serviceable parts from one item of equipment in order to install them on another item of equipment.
  • Older siblings will often cannibalize younger nest mates.
  • Organizations that have a negative image of their own future cannibalize themselves as they try to fix what is wrong.
  • It will then attempt to cannibalize its brothers and sisters by seizing them by the throat.
  • They have been known to prey on other animals as well as cannibalize their own.
  • Premium beers continue to cannibalize standard and economy lagers' market share.
British Dictionary definitions for cannibalize


(transitive) to use (serviceable parts from one machine or vehicle) to repair another, esp as an alternative to using new parts
Derived Forms
cannibalization, cannibalisation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cannibalize

1798 (in Burke's memoirs), figurative, and meaning "be perverted into cannibalism," from cannibal + -ize. Meaning "take parts from one construction and use them in another" is from 1943, originally of military equipment. Related: Cannibalized; cannibalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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