"common repository for deads bodies," late 14c., from Old French charnel (12c.) "fleshly," from Late Latin carnale "graveyard," properly neuter of adjective carnalis, from Latin carnis "of the flesh," genitive of caro "flesh, meat," "flesh," originally "a piece of flesh," from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut." As an adjective from 1813. The Late Latin word was glossed in Old English as flæschus "flesh-house." Charnel house is attested from 1550s.
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