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 2. something resembling a catacomb: as a. an underground passageway or group of passageways b. a complex set of interrelated things <
the endless catacombs of formal educationKingman Brewster †1988
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — [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

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