The dog carcasses were scattered everywhere. They looked like the [...] of a battlefield.

The closest word I can think of is "loser" but I think it doesn't quite make it.

Any suggestion?

  • 1
    How about simply "It looked like a battlefield"?
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 20, 2014 at 22:41
  • Title is a bit deceptive, you really meant: "Those who died in battle"
    – Sammaye
    Dec 21, 2014 at 0:01

10 Answers 10


How about "casualties"

A person killed or injured in a war or accident:


slain or fallen , on or from could be better than of.


There are two possible ways in which you could modify the wording of the second sentence so as to enable you to use a greater range of idiomatic terms:

One is to use 'battlefield' attributively:

They looked like battlefield {victims / casualties}.

The other is to use on a battlefield rather than of a battlefield:

They looked like {corpses / casualties / the fallen / the slain / the dead / the wounded} on a battlefield.


Victim: ( from TFD)

  • a person or thing that suffers harm, death, etc, from another or from some adverse act, circumstance. Victims of war.

Considering the broader context, why not use something more idiomatic?

the remains of war


the war dead

  • 3
    ... aftermath. (Many kids used to look like dead dogs after math.) Dec 20, 2014 at 14:49

“Casualties” is the word I would use if you want to emphasize that they were killed/injured; otherwise, I think “loser” is the word you are looking for. (Cf. http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/winner, antonyms of sense 2). Rephrasing, e.g. “they looked like they had lost a battle here” might sound better.

  • As you've edited, I have now removed my previous comment. :)
    – Erik Kowal
    Dec 20, 2014 at 18:32

Vestiges comes to mind. The implication is that there was a conflict that no one walked away from.

  • First off, welcome to English.se. Could you flesh this out a bit? I do think vestiges is somewhat relevant to what is left after a battle... but your answer could be much clearer.
    – virmaior
    Dec 20, 2014 at 19:22

Depending on your audience and intent, something like "detritus" might work.

noun - [dih-trahy-tuh s]

  1. rock in small particles or other material worn or broken away from a mass, as by the action of water or glacial ice.
  2. any disintegrated material; debris.

via dictionary.com

  • Please only supply phonetic transcriptions using the standard International Phonetic Alphabet, so that everyone around the world can understand them.
    – tchrist
    Dec 21, 2014 at 0:32
  • I think this word would work better for battlefield equipment than for the soldiers themselves.
    – J.R.
    Dec 21, 2014 at 1:13

the residue of war on a battlefield.

Otherwise, I like 'slain' or 'fallen'.


Some possibilities:

  • defeated having been beaten in a battle or other contest
  • vanquished defeated
  • slain past participle of slay: to kill by violence; to destroy; extinguish.
  • corpses dead bodies, especially of human beings rather than animals.
  • fallen killed in battle with glory

The links are to random dictionaries.

  • 3
    Is this supposed to be a sentence? Or just a list of words? There’s no punctuation, no context, no explanations of what the words mean or how they differ, no references to their use—nothing. Definite -1. Dec 20, 2014 at 16:34
  • 3
    This answer does not explain itself very well, however it brings up the word I first thought of; Defeated. Vanquished is also an excellent pick. +1, but please edit to define those two. Dec 20, 2014 at 17:15
  • When I think of vanquished why do I think of LOTR and Gandalf on the bridge of Khazard Dum with the Balrog? Vanquished seems more like a word used to describe the out come of a battle: "The foe was vanquished, but our fallen were great"
    – Sammaye
    Dec 21, 2014 at 12:37

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