Definition of sepulchral in English:



  • 1Relating to a tomb or interment:

    ‘sepulchral monuments’
    • ‘Tell us the worst, they said - and when I did, the silence was sepulchral.’
    • ‘The author of a treatise on sepulchral urns lately discovered in Norfolk was moved to comment.’
    • ‘C. Lefevre's 1907 monument in Paris for Emile Levassor, who died in a car crash, employed the full repertoire of classical sepulchral art.’
    • ‘A maze of sterile-looking, particle-board cubicles had been erected in the room and the lights dimmed to a sepulchral twilight.’
    • ‘One is reminded of the painted marble disc of the doctor Aineas, of late Archaic date, but that almost certainly was a sepulchral monument, and in any case can never have been mounted on a pillar in this fashion.’
    • ‘The men halted and whipped around to see a sepulchral ghost approach them.’
    • ‘The tenuous suggestion that Stonehenge may thus be a sepulchral monument, is perhaps strengthened by the large number of burial mounds in the surrounding landscape.’
    • ‘Now our stone may differ a little from the general run of Holed Stones found in many of the sepulchral monuments to be found in Western Europe to India.’
    • ‘Gossip, therefore, died and a sepulchral silence descended on the shop except for the customers' self-obsessed questions and the barber's answers.’
    • ‘Mother and son lie together, sepulchral white sheets covering them, rejoined in a kind of death, and David can finally close his eyes and dream.’
    • ‘Someone sitting on a vinyl picnic chair in a rumpled gray robe sat with his back to the door, long legs dangling over a four-foot tall ornamental railing built from a row of white sepulchral urns.’
    • ‘The figure of Christ, his sepulchral pallor set off by a shroud of tender pink, confronts the viewer with awesome directness.’
    • ‘In the sepulchral gloom of the strip club two other dancers are substituted.’
    • ‘Even the most magnificent landscapes are powerless without figures, not forgetting Poussin's Arcadia, were it devoid of the shepherds and the sepulchral inscription.’
    • ‘Unintelligible Latinisms litter the insides of the booklet, awkwardly coupling with sepulchral imagery.’
    • ‘Shafts of direct sunlight are carefully choreographed to shine down directly onto the altar, their intensity emphasized by the sepulchral semi-darkness of the surroundings.’
    • ‘Old relics dotted the entrance beyond; knots of yarn and wool rippled, brightly-colored etchings which reflected dully in the sepulchral gloom.’
    1. 1.1 Gloomy; dismal:
      ‘a speech delivered in sepulchral tones’
      • ‘I don't want to make this sound too sepulchral, because it's supposed to be fun telly, but at the same time we just can't help being amazed at the people we do it for, and the community commitment they have.’
      • ‘You wouldn't think it appropriate in this day and age to describe a voice on a telephone as sepulchral, would you?’
      • ‘These Germans have only dropped the speed and abrasion in seeking a new kind of heavy/scary and formulating their unique style of sepulchral lounge jazz.’
      • ‘The whole ensemble has a sepulchral quality, and it is no surprise to learn that the work was created in memory of the artist's father, who died last year.’
      • ‘The sepulchral formality of the serious restaurant was gone.’
      • ‘He does not, it must be said, match one's idea of a funeral director, being neither gaunt nor sepulchral.’
      • ‘It was a delightful characterisation, underpinned by that wonderfully dark and sepulchral voice, used musically and never overdone.’
      • ‘The shade of corruption laid a sepulchral pall over the land, affecting all in its wake.’
      • ‘He speaks in resigned, sepulchral tones, and seems to have a strange affinity toward shadows and corners.’
      • ‘He has a point: it would hardly be right to wear a sparkly suit and tight trousers while singing stark, sepulchral songs about death, pain and sorrow in a voice like the wind whistling through his old Appalachian bones.’
      • ‘The sad fact is, plenty of high-performing companies have positively sepulchral atmospheres, with employees who pretty much loathe their cipherlike existences.’
      • ‘Climbing on to the roof one winter night, knowing they were sitting round the fire, he called down the chimney in a sepulchral voice, ‘Joseph and Elizabeth, the Lord commandeth thee to go to the Salt Lake City.’’
      • ‘The funeral was a sepulchral mix of tears, pain, and black clothes.’
      • ‘What makes it so remarkable is how sepulchral the voices are.’
      • ‘The sepulchral hyper-meticulousness of his previous film is here opened up with the wide coastal and oceanic setting.’
      • ‘Lee's sepulchral tones and commanding presence made the architect of evil a character to relish.’
      • ‘The row over ties and over which news organisation had been the more sepulchral (or had more pages, more black borders, sections, pages etc) rumbled all week and became a story in its own right.’
      gloomy, lugubrious, sombre, melancholy, melancholic, sad, sorrowful, mournful, doleful, mirthless, cheerless, joyless, funereal, dismal
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Early 17th century: from French sépulchral or Latin sepulchralis, from sepulcrum (see sepulchre).