Definition of dolmen in English:

dolmen

noun

  • A megalithic tomb with a large flat stone laid on upright ones, found chiefly in Britain and France.

    • ‘The ancient dolmen rock of course has its place.’
    • ‘We still wonder how the ancient Egyptians raised giant obelisks in the desert and how stone age men and women moved huge cut stones and placed them in position in dolmens and passage graves.’
    • ‘Roofs could be of horizontal capstones to make the so-called dolmens, or of oversailing courses of slabs, which are known as corbelled vaults.’
    • ‘The area around Jard-sur-Mer is deeply historic, and dotted with dolmens and standing stones.’
    • ‘Standing stones and circles, henges, cup-marked stones and dolmens have intrigued us for generations, but there is little real evidence of their true purpose.’
    • ‘Artifacts on those installations include shrines, gravesites, sculptures and prehistoric dolmens, which are flat, square stone slabs of various sizes that are believed to date to the Bronze Age.’
    • ‘Remains of a hut settlement have been found, as well as Bronze Age artefacts, cremated human remains, bones, teeth, beads, pendants, pottery, jewellery, a passage-tomb cemetery and two ruined dolmens.’
    • ‘They were the so called Megalithic People, the builders of dolmens, cromlechs and other monuments over or to their dead.’
    • ‘The majority of tombs are a mixture of small passage-tombs and dolmens, usually surrounded by a stone kerb and constructed with the large rounded granite boulders of the area.’
    • ‘At the north end is a deep forecourt between two rounded horns, and in the back of the forecourt is an H-shaped setting of stones, perhaps the remains of a portal dolmen.’
    • ‘He had by-passed a stone-age dolmen on his ascent and skirted the mound of a ring-fort.’
    • ‘As many as thirty dolmens, the remains of prehistoric chambered tombs, have been discovered.’
    • ‘One of special features of the site is the rockery to the rear built around a granite dolmen and a variety of mature trees.’
    • ‘The lone watchman belies the archaeological importance of the site, surrounded by ancient dolmens and sacred groves with enormous and elaborately decorated terracotta horses.’
    • ‘The view of the Aran Islands and beyond is astounding, as is the local geography, which includes caves, dolmens, standing stones, holy wells, around 75 megalithic tombs and around 500 Iron Age forts.’
    • ‘Some areas in northern France are also known for their megalithic standing stones, called dolmens or menhir.’
    • ‘I did not intend to include stone circles, dolmens or long stone rows, although some are represented (not Avebury or Stonehenge).’
    • ‘He claims the plans for the extension come close to possible site of a boulder circle and dolmen.’
    • ‘The field site contains over 45 stone circles, passage graves, standing stones and dolmen tombs and has been the focus of excavations for more than twenty years.’
    • ‘Along the path there is a well, which symbolises the beginning of life, while further along is a dolmen, a pre-Christian tomb, representing the end of life.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from French, perhaps via Breton from Cornish tolmen hole of a stone.

Pronunciation:

dolmen

/ˈdɒlmɛn/