Definition of columbarium in US English:

columbarium

nounPlural columbaria

  • A room or building with niches for funeral urns to be stored.

    • ‘We descended into the columbarium and squeezed in between the many many wide ladders that the temple had decided were suitable for the narrow alleyways between shelves piled with urns containing cremated remains.’
    • ‘Fresh information on Sir Edwin Lutyens's first mausoleum, the Hannen columbarium at St Mary, Wargrave, Berkshire, is provided by correspondence published here for the first time by Oliver Bradbury.’
    • ‘Resting place to 560,000 people, the eerily serene hills of Green-Wood are filled with detailed columbaria, self-referential statues, and ornate mausoleums.’
    • ‘On either side of the entrance to the Wargrave columbarium are carvings of peacocks of considerable finesse, in such low relief that they are almost invisible at times; to know the artist would be instructive.’
    • ‘One option being considered is high-rise columbaria.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally ‘pigeon-house’, from columba ‘pigeon’.

Pronunciation

columbarium

/ˌkɑləmˈbɛriəm//ˌkäləmˈberēəm/