Macabre is an adjective that means that something has a deathly or grim character or atmosphere. The word macabre is often associated with works of art or literature. For example, sculptures that celebrate death or depict it and the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe
or H. P. Lovecraft
often have this quality.
The word macabre has an unknown etymology. However, the use of macabre in English derives from French, explaining its peculiar spelling and pronunciation.
The correct pronunciation of macabre in English varies between American and British English. In the US, macabre is pronounced as Muh-kahb
, while in Britain it is pronounced as Muh-kahb-ruh
. The British pronunciation resembles the French pronunciation more closely, whilst the American pronunciation is elided, omitting the final -re.