Definition of sepulchre in English:


(US sepulcher)


  • A small room or monument, cut in rock or built of stone, in which a dead person is laid or buried.

    • ‘The picture provides this legend with monumentality since it turns it into an act of mourning performed on a sepulchre.’
    • ‘His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers.’
    • ‘For instance, armour and other trophies were often displayed above sepulchres.’
    • ‘And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.’
    • ‘He sees the stone rolled away from the grave of Lazarus and three men approach the sepulchre where the man's body lies.’
    • ‘In contrast, Moses arranged for his own discreet burial so that ‘no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day’.’
    • ‘Hardening my heart with all the memories of the times mother and I visited the sepulcher where father's ashes lay in the soil, I put another foot forward.’
    • ‘All around, she could feel the shapes of sepulchres and headstones.’
    • ‘So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.’
    • ‘Large family sepulchers featuring urns, statues of angels, and obelisks, spread out as far as the eye can see.’
    • ‘Both deny charges of ‘violating a sepulchre without the authority of the relatives or executors of said unknown person’.’
    • ‘Deep inside, St. Francis' bones are locked away in a sepulcher, the immense weight of the Basilica - a place he would have hated - weighing down on top of him.’
    • ‘And he took it down, wrapped it in a long linen swathing cloth, and laid it in an unused sepulchre hewn from the rock.’
    • ‘In the ritual of internment, the slab is rolled back from the sepulchre and the coffin is lowered down to the chamber below.’
    • ‘He got to a sepulcher where four Satanists were gathered.’
    • ‘The most moving moment, and one that I had not anticipated, happened during my descent to the sepulcher holding the body of St. James.’
    • ‘The place seemed as an open tomb, an unsealed sepulcher, a deathly resting place, quietly awaiting corpses to crowd its halls and fulfill its purpose.’
    • ‘The public had been kept clear of the tomb, and it is unclear what level of access there had been to the king's remains before they were replaced in a new sepulchre.’
    • ‘In fact, you might just want to cut out the middleman and head on over to the nearest cemetery - your dream date may in fact have been skulking around the local sepulchres, and you never even knew.’
    • ‘And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?’
    tomb, vault, burial place, burial chamber, crypt, catacomb, mausoleum, sarcophagus, pyramid
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[WITH OBJECT]literary
  • 1Lay or bury in or as if in a sepulchre.

    ‘tomes are soon out of print and sepulchred in the dust of libraries’
    bury, lay to rest, consign to the grave, entomb, inurn
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    1. 1.1 Serve as a burial place for.
      ‘when ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin sepulcrum ‘burial place’, from sepelire ‘bury’.