"dead body of an animal," late 13c., from Anglo-French carcois, from or influenced by Old French charcois (Modern French carcasse) "trunk of a body, chest, carcass," and Anglo-Latin carcosium "dead body," all of unknown origin; original form uncertain. It may have been assimilated to Latin caro "flesh." Not used of humans after c. 1750, except contemptuously. Italian carcassa probably is a French loan-word.
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