Definition of tomb in English:

tomb

noun

  • 1A large vault, typically an underground one, for burying the dead.

    • ‘The shrine was once a beautiful golden palace but the years had worn away its natural beauty and now only some walls, statues and the underground tombs remained.’
    • ‘The marble tombs had been smashed open and the bones and skulls lay scattered carelessly around the overgrown graveyard.’
    • ‘From the late Middle Ages onward, Italian churches were increasingly filled with an abundance of elaborate family tombs.’
    • ‘However, the underground chambers of the tombs are well preserved, though they have long been emptied of their contents.’
    • ‘The corpse was moved from the private bedchamber to the tomb in a public procession not unlike that at a wedding, with the family marching in hierarchical order.’
    • ‘The tomb, which is situated in the church of San Giovanni Rotondo, in Foggia, southern Italy, is visited by almost seven million people a year.’
    • ‘Finally, elaborate megalithic art in Ireland is found only at passage tombs.’
    • ‘This is the town where Padro Pio spent most of his life and is buried in the tomb in the friary.’
    • ‘These funeral towers, or chullpas, have been heavily looted and were empty, but skeletons were found in the underground tombs.’
    • ‘The megalithic passage tomb is illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise.’
    • ‘He is buried in an elaborate tomb in New York, a place he never liked.’
    • ‘He was buried ‘in the bare earth’ as he requested, not in a marble tomb like many of his predecessors.’
    • ‘These range in date from the pre-Reformation tombs in St Magnus Cathedral to memorials erected after the Second World War.’
    • ‘This woman died and was buried in her family tomb.’
    • ‘The main body of the tomb was set into the hillside and covered with earth thereby using the heat of the earth to keep the building from freezing.’
    • ‘One can be gripped by a vague feeling of claustrophobia, as if entering an underground tomb.’
    • ‘In 1612, her son and the now king of England, James, brought his mother's body to Westminster Abbey where she was buried in a magnificent tomb.’
    • ‘It is England's oldest borough; Athelstan, the first king of England was initially buried here and his tomb remains in the abbey.’
    • ‘Oh yes, some of those tombs and vaults are more than 250 years old.’
    • ‘Most knights' bones never got into charnels; they were safely enclosed in tombs inside a church.’
    burial chamber, burial place, sepulchre, mausoleum, vault, crypt, undercroft, catacomb, pyramid, charnel house, shrine, ossuary, reliquary
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    1. 1.1 An enclosure for a corpse cut in the earth or in rock.
      • ‘It is believed that corpses that have been removed from their tombs may be turned into zombies, who then serve the will of their masters.’
      • ‘Important individuals were typically interred in log-lined tombs which were burnt and then covered by a conical earth mound up to 20m high.’
      • ‘The elite were often buried in log-lined tombs within the charnel houses, accompanied by a selection of rich grave goods.’
      • ‘Our junket included stops at the ruins of a Roman coliseum, a sulfur mud bath, and some ancient Lycean rock tombs - all sites inaccessible by car or bus.’
      • ‘‘It is sad but we are relieved that we will now be able to bury him and visit his tomb when we want,’ he said.’
      • ‘All join in pushing the earth to cover the tombs.’
      • ‘It resembles the rock cut chambered tombs of the Mediterranean, though it is probably of local inspiration.’
      • ‘On this day, families visit the tombs of their ancestors and clean the burial ground.’
      • ‘It's also the city of the dead that Cèline remembers having visited as a child, of the nameless tombs of suicides and of Mozart buried in a pauper's grave.’
      • ‘Others tell of how our ancestors treated their dead, through their tombs and graves - which have often been excavated by archaeologists.’
      • ‘Although Spencer created many wildly imaginative scenes such as the dead rising from their tombs in the churchyard, nearly all his paintings were set in the Berkshire village of Cookham where he lived.’
      • ‘Among the monuments is the tomb in the north aisle of Sir Robert Dormer, a rare example of early Renaissance work, dated 1552.’
      • ‘It is apparent that this is a rich man's tomb, carefully carved out of solid rock.’
      • ‘In 1923 Sir Flinders Petrie found another cache of fossils at Qua, wrapped in linen and carefully stored in rock tombs.’
      • ‘The body was discovered by grave diggers who went to the cemetery to prepare a tomb and were then drawn to the corpse by a screaming passer-by.’
      • ‘The corpse is washed, wrapped in a shroud, carried to the cemetery by a group of mourners, and buried in a tomb.’
    2. 1.2 A monument to the memory of a dead person, erected over their burial place.
      • ‘The burial was not within the tomb itself, but along the external walls of the monument.’
      • ‘The second type of tomb was erected as a monument to honour the dead and to preserve their memory.’
      • ‘This tomb is situated 280 km from Mumbai and 190 km away from Nasik.’
      • ‘Rich merchants erected extravagant public buildings and temples and tombs, living and dying in sumptuous style.’
      • ‘Elizabethan monuments were not only funeral buildings like tombs, churches or charnel-houses.’
      • ‘Her son Henry erected a tomb over her grave at Fontevraud.’
      • ‘The Romans erected a tomb in his honor inscribed with the image of a sphere within a cylinder in tribute to his great mathematical discoveries.’
      • ‘The project's main aim was to study monumental tombs and funerary practices - a tough enough task on its own - and in the applications for funding we hadn't dared mention the hunt for a shipwrecked sailor.’
      • ‘Abera is now a worthy successor to his great predecessor, whose premature death in 1973 is marked by a monumental tomb in Addis Ababa.’
      • ‘The great pyramids were burial tombs for the pharaohs who were revered as gods on earth.’
      • ‘The magnificent tomb over the burial place, with its shrine-like features, is court art: court art carried from Westminster to Gloucester.’
      • ‘He asks Wiglaf to build a monument, a tomb where King Beowulf's ashes will be buried, a high tower over the old one, so sailors will see it and speak of it forevermore.’
      • ‘This Greek-temple-like tomb was erected in 1901 by Dr John Springthorpe, in memory of his wife Annie, who had died in childbirth four years earlier.’
      • ‘The monumental tomb was an identical copy of the tomb of Lenin, which can still be seen in Moscow.’
      • ‘Initially it was thought that the Maya pyramids did not serve as tombs, but recent explorations have identified burial sites within some of them.’
      • ‘The increasingly centralised organisation of the third millennium BC created a disciplined labour force, which was used to build vast royal monuments and elite tombs.’
      • ‘The tomb, situated in an elevated position at the end of a rocky gorge, is a well-preserved architectural and artistic masterpiece.’
      • ‘In Egypt pyramids were used as monumental tombs, whereas in Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, and South America they were temple platforms.’
      • ‘Perhaps the most outstanding manifestation of such devotion is the Taj Mahal, erected by the Mogul emperor Shah Jehan as a tomb for his dead wife.’
      • ‘Once freed of its contents, it became possible to examine the wall paintings in the only decorated room in the entire tomb, the burial chamber.’
    3. 1.3 Used in similes and metaphors to refer to a place or situation that is extremely cold, quiet, or dark, or that forms a confining enclosure.
      ‘the house was as quiet as a tomb’
      • ‘The parking garage sprawled in front of me, quiet as a tomb.’
      • ‘The top of the house seems to go on forever, as dark and quiet as a tomb.’
      • ‘The cell was as quiet as a tomb.’
      • ‘For three days now you've been quiet at a tomb and almost sullen.’
      • ‘She's whipped the place into shape and everything's sparkly clean, not to mention the fact that the place is as quiet as a tomb, aside from the tapping of keyboards or phone ringing.’
      • ‘The inside of the camp was quiet as a tomb and Dallas didn't feel very welcome in it.’
      • ‘Inside was as dark as a tomb.’
      • ‘The door to the office shut out the noise in the hall outside; inside, it was quiet as a tomb.’
      • ‘His footsteps were ten times louder when there was no other sound; no servants working or glass trinkets falling made the palace quieter than a tomb.’
      • ‘When Lord Rawley's butler announced Amanda, the ballroom turned as quiet as a tomb.’
      • ‘But the space was small enough to feel as if the walls were closing in, and it was dark as a tomb.’
      • ‘Before the sirens, the confusion saw cutting metal freeing her from a tomb of steel.’
      • ‘She glared at the him with fire in her eyes, but she held her peace as both stared each other down while the room became quiet as a tomb.’
      • ‘The right wing hall stood empty and quiet as a tomb.’
    4. 1.4the tombliterary Death.
      ‘none escape the tomb’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French tombe, from late Latin tumba, from Greek tumbos.

Pronunciation

tomb

/tuːm/