verb (-ized; -izing) Date: 1943 transitive verb 1. a. to take salvageable parts from (as a disabled machine) for use in building or repairing another machine b. to make use of (a part taken from one thing) in building, repairing, or creating something else 2. to deprive of an essential part or element in creating or sustaining another facility or enterprise <
the energy system has begun cannibalizing the economic system it is supposed to fuel — Barry Commoner
3. to use or draw on material of (as another writer or an earlier work) <
a volume…that not only cannibalizes previous publications but is intended itself to be cannibalized — R. M. Adams
4. to take (sales) away from an existing product by selling or being sold as a similar but new product usually from the same manufacturer; also to affect (as an existing product) adversely by cannibalizing sales intransitive verb 1. to practice cannibalism 2. to cannibalize one unit for the sake of another of the same kind • cannibalization noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cannibalize — can‧ni‧bal‧ize [ˈkænbəlaɪz] also cannibalise verb [transitive] 1. MARKETING if one of a company s new products cannibalizes an older one, it takes sales away from it: • Healthy Choice was a best seller without cannibalizing sales of its other… …   Financial and business terms

  • cannibalize — v. i. & t. same as {cannibalise}. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cannibalize — by 1798, figurative, from CANNIBAL (Cf. cannibal) + IZE (Cf. ize). Meaning take parts from one construction and use them in another is from 1943, originally of military equipment. Related: Cannibalized; cannibalizing …   Etymology dictionary

  • cannibalize — (Amer.) can·ni·bal·ize || kænɪbÉ™laɪz v. take parts from one machine to repair another; eat human flesh (also cannibalise) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cannibalize — (also cannibalise) ► VERB 1) use (a machine) as a source of spare parts for another, similar machine. 2) (of an animal) eat (an animal of its own kind). DERIVATIVES cannibalization noun …   English terms dictionary

  • cannibalize — ☆ cannibalize [kan′ə bəlīz΄ ] vt., vi. cannibalized, cannibalizing 1. to strip (old or worn equipment) of parts for use in other units to help keep them in service 2. to take any or all personnel or components from (one organization) for use in… …   English World dictionary

  • cannibalize — cannibalization, n. /kan euh beuh luyz /, v., cannibalized, cannibalizing. v.t. 1. to subject to cannibalism. 2. to remove parts, equipment, assets, employees, etc., from (an item, product, or business) in order to use them in another: to… …   Universalium

  • cannibalize — verb a) To consume another of ones own type or kind. The female black widow spider is known to cannibalize the male. b) To remove parts of (a machine, etc) for use in other similar machines. When the attack ceased they managed to cannibalize… …   Wiktionary

  • cannibalize — [[t]kæ̱nɪbəlaɪz[/t]] cannibalizes, cannibalizing, cannibalized (in BRIT, also use cannibalise) 1) VERB If you cannibalize something, you take it to pieces and use it to make something else. [V n] They cannibalized damaged planes for the parts. 2) …   English dictionary

  • cannibalize — UK [ˈkænɪbəlaɪz] / US [ˈkænɪb(ə)lˌaɪz] verb [transitive] Word forms cannibalize : present tense I/you/we/they cannibalize he/she/it cannibalizes present participle cannibalizing past tense cannibalized past participle cannibalized 1) to take… …   English dictionary

  • cannibalize — cannibalise cannibalise, cannibalize cannibalizev. i. to eat human flesh. Syn: practice cannibalism. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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