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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 inscription on the oldest tombstone in the graveyard reads: Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth Bryn, departed 1730.’
    • ‘There is no tombstone to mark his grave, there are no buildings, roads or railways which bear his name.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Listed also are over 600 tombstones and grave slabs from the old cemetery in Aghamore.’
    • ‘The statue was surrounded by graves, rows of tombstones stretching out as far as the eye could see in all directions.’
    • ‘She visits the grave three times a year to clear the moss from the flat tombstone.’
    • ‘A corner of the estate however was left on its own, with stonewall surroundings but no grave markings or tombstones.’
    • ‘Paul spent hours locating and reading the inscriptions on the tombstones and monuments, bedecked with harps, shamrocks, and Celtic crosses.’
    • ‘The beautifully carved tombstones, with inscriptions in the Dutch language, could have been carved in Holland and sent to India.’
    • ‘A tombstone standing over a grave for over 100 years was desecrated and pieces of the headstone were scattered over the area.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The common motto, inscribed on memorials and tombstones is ‘Lest we forget.’’
    • ‘I don't think I'll have his tribute inscribed on my tombstone.’
    • ‘Rob and I walked slowly along the rows of stark white granite tombstones, each engraved with a Canadian maple leaf.’
    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]informal
  • 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’
    • ‘There have been numerous reports of tombstoning in the area.’
    • ‘There has been concern at the craze for "tombstoning" - the practice of jumping off cliffs or bridges into the sea.’
    • ‘Last year it was Shane McMahon who side tracked him for tombstoning his mother.’
    • ‘Mr Goulding was not aware of dispersal orders having previously been used anywhere to stop tombstoning.’
    • ‘A Coastguard spokesman said: "We believe they were ' tombstoning ', which is something that children don't tend to see danger in, unfortunately."’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ' Don't Jump into the Unknown ' campaign will feature posters and stickers placed at known tombstoning sites.’
    • ‘The practice of tombstoning - jumping off a high rock into water of unknown depth - has led to a string of injuries and death.’
    • ‘The result is a major drag by your ankle toward the shore because of your tombstoning board.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He abused his power against the roster that rebelled against him, before being tombstoned to hell by the Undertaker.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An interview with Mr Wells is to be shown by police and schools to youngsters to highlight the risks of tombstoning.’
    • ‘The summer craze is called tombstoning and the name tells you all you need to know about how dangerous it is.’