Catacomb
Catacomb Cat"a*comb, n. [It. catacomba, fr. L. catacumba perh. from Gr. kata` downward, down + ky`mbh cavity.] A cave, grotto, or subterraneous place of large extent used for the burial of the dead; -- commonly in the plural. [1913 Webster]

Note: The terms is supposed to have been applied originally to the tombs under the church of St. Sebastian in Rome. The most celebrated catacombs are those near Rome, on the Appian Way, supposed to have been the place or refuge and interment of the early Christians; those of Egypt, extending for a wide distance in the vicinity of Cairo; and those of Paris, in abandoned stone quarries, excavated under a large portion of the city. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • catacomb — (n.) usually catacombs, from O.E. catacumbas, from L.L. (400 C.E.) catacumbae, originally the region of underground tombs between the 2nd and 3rd milestones of the Appian Way (where the bodies of apostles Paul and Peter, among others, were said… …   Etymology dictionary

  • catacomb — Now pronounced kat ǝ koom; but kat ǝ kohm is heard in AmE …   Modern English usage

  • catacomb — ► NOUN ▪ an underground cemetery consisting of a gallery with recesses for tombs. ORIGIN Latin catacumbas, the name of the subterranean cemetery of St Sebastian near Rome …   English terms dictionary

  • catacomb — [kat′ə kōm΄] n. [ME catacumb; ult. LL catacumba, pl. catacumbae, region between 2d & 3d milestones of the Appian Way, Catacombs; prob. by dissimilation < L cata tumbas, at the graves < cata (< Gr kata, down), by + tumbas, acc. pl. of… …   English World dictionary

  • catacomb — catacumbal /kat euh kum beuhl/, adj. /kat euh kohm /, n. 1. Usually, catacombs. an underground cemetery, esp. one consisting of tunnels and rooms with recesses dug out for coffins and tombs. 2. the Catacombs, the subterranean burial chambers of… …   Universalium

  • catacomb — noun Etymology: Middle English catacumb, Middle French catacombe, probably from Old Italian catacomba, from Late Latin catacumbae, plural Date: 15th century 1. a subterranean cemetery of galleries with recesses for tombs usually used in plural …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • catacomb — [17] Catacomb derives from the name of an underground cemetary in ancient Rome, the Coemetērium Catacumbas, beneath the Basilica of St Sebastian near the Appian Way. It is said that the bodies of St Peter and St Paul were deposited in or near its …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • catacomb — [17] Catacomb derives from the name of an underground cemetary in ancient Rome, the Coemetērium Catacumbas, beneath the Basilica of St Sebastian near the Appian Way. It is said that the bodies of St Peter and St Paul were deposited in or near its …   Word origins

  • catacomb — noun /ˈkatəˌkəʊm,ˈkatəkuːm,ˈkætakoʊm,ˈkætəkuːm/ An underground system of tunnels and chambers with recesses for graves, used (in former times) as a cemetery; a subterranean tunnel system used for burying the dead, as in Paris or ancient Rome …   Wiktionary

  • catacomb — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun A burial place or receptacle for human remains: cinerarium, crypt, grave1, mausoleum, ossuary, sepulcher, sepulture, tomb, vault1. See KEEP, PLACE …   English dictionary for students

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”