Definition of tombstone in English:



  • 1A large, flat inscribed stone standing or laid over a grave:

    ‘his grin exposed his yellowed teeth like a row of tombstones’
    • ‘Paul spent hours locating and reading the inscriptions on the tombstones and monuments, bedecked with harps, shamrocks, and Celtic crosses.’
    • ‘I don't think I'll have his tribute inscribed on my tombstone.’
    • ‘The straight vertical edge that viewers see as they walk into the room could be an obelisk, a standing figure, or even a stone tombstone.’
    • ‘There is no tombstone to mark his grave, there are no buildings, roads or railways which bear his name.’
    • ‘The inscription on the oldest tombstone in the graveyard reads: Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth Bryn, departed 1730.’
    • ‘Rob and I walked slowly along the rows of stark white granite tombstones, each engraved with a Canadian maple leaf.’
    • ‘If the memorials and flapping flags on the beaches evoke a feeling of past glories, row after row of white marble tombstones serve to remind people what war is really all about.’
    • ‘The common motto, inscribed on memorials and tombstones is ‘Lest we forget.’’
    • ‘A corner of the estate however was left on its own, with stonewall surroundings but no grave markings or tombstones.’
    • ‘At the moment, I'm thinking about a tombstone I'm having made for my father's grave.’
    • ‘It contains a memorial and row upon row of white tombstones in well-tended plots.’
    • ‘Sir Robert has inscribed on his tombstone the words: ‘He loved his country’.’
    • ‘She visits the grave three times a year to clear the moss from the flat tombstone.’
    • ‘Listed also are over 600 tombstones and grave slabs from the old cemetery in Aghamore.’
    • ‘A tombstone standing over a grave for over 100 years was desecrated and pieces of the headstone were scattered over the area.’
    • ‘The statue was surrounded by graves, rows of tombstones stretching out as far as the eye could see in all directions.’
    • ‘In areas where stone was readily available tombstones bearing inscriptions were erected, and examples are known from Gloucester, Cirencester, Bath, York, Chester, and Carlisle amongst other towns.’
    • ‘The cemetery became a labyrinth, as family and friends slowly filed between the graves and tombstones to visit their departed loved ones on All Souls' Day.’
    • ‘The beautifully carved tombstones, with inscriptions in the Dutch language, could have been carved in Holland and sent to India.’
    • ‘The inscription on his tombstone in Groombridge Church, where he is buried alongside his three children, bears his original name and no reference to his nom de plume.’
    gravestone, headstone, stone, grave marker, memorial, monument, obelisk
    View synonyms
  • 2An advertisement listing the underwriters or firms associated with a new issue of shares, bonds, warrants, etc.

    • ‘It includes tombstone advertising with a searchable database of recent tombstones and one-click access to more detailed info on major financial transactions and company data.’


[NO OBJECT]usually as noun tombstoning
  • Jump into the sea from a cliff or other high point:

    ‘Harry is in hospital with two broken legs after he gave tombstoning a try’
    • ‘A bit like tombstoning, only instead of jumping off cliffs into water, they jump into diets that are going to lose them nothing but their health and sanity.’
    • ‘The structure is a popular location for tombstoning despite annual warnings from the coastguard of its dangers.’
    • ‘He abused his power against the roster that rebelled against him, before being tombstoned to hell by the Undertaker.’
    • ‘An interview with Mr Wells is to be shown by police and schools to youngsters to highlight the risks of tombstoning.’
    • ‘The latter pastime, of jumping into the sea from cliff edges, is called tombstoning by the people who do it, but ' bloody stupid ' by onlookers.’
    • ‘There has been concern at the craze for "tombstoning" - the practice of jumping off cliffs or bridges into the sea.’
    • ‘A student has been left paralysed for life after "tombstoning" from a cliff face into just three feet of water during the hottest weekend of the year.’
    • ‘The result is a major drag by your ankle toward the shore because of your tombstoning board.’
    • ‘There have been numerous reports of tombstoning in the area.’
    • ‘The practice of tombstoning - jumping off a high rock into water of unknown depth - has led to a string of injuries and death.’
    • ‘A Coastguard spokesman said: "We believe they were ' tombstoning ', which is something that children don't tend to see danger in, unfortunately."’
    • ‘The ' Don't Jump into the Unknown ' campaign will feature posters and stickers placed at known tombstoning sites.’
    • ‘A city's police have been granted powers to stop youngsters from indulging in the craze for dangerous leaps into the sea, known as tombstoning.’
    • ‘Last year it was Shane McMahon who side tracked him for tombstoning his mother.’
    • ‘Captured on camera here, a tombstoning teenager risks his life by jumping 65 ft off a stone wall into the sea off Plymouth Hoe in Devon.’
    • ‘The order will enable police to tackle anti-social behaviour and will give them an additional power to stop tombstoning.’
    • ‘Earlier this year police warned that tombstoning was becoming increasingly popular at British seaside towns.’
    • ‘When the wave had passed, both boards "tombstoned" in the frothy whitewash as the event safety teams buzzed in circles on personal watercraft.’
    • ‘Mr Goulding was not aware of dispersal orders having previously been used anywhere to stop tombstoning.’
    • ‘The summer craze is called tombstoning and the name tells you all you need to know about how dangerous it is.’