catacombs(redirected from Catacoombes)
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1. often catacombs An underground cemetery consisting of chambers or tunnels with recesses for graves.
2. An underground, often labyrinthine passageway.
[From French catacombes (plural), from Middle French Cathacombes, the name of a complex of Christian catacombs near the Appian Way on the outskirts of ancient Rome in which Saint Sebastian was said to be buried, ultimately from Late Latin Catacumbas, possibly from the name of the location before it was used as a burial site (perhaps originally the Greek name of a tavern on the Appian Way, *Kata Kumbās, literally "Under the Drinking Cups" : Greek kata, under; see cata- + Greek kumbē, shallow bowl, drinking cup, saucer; see cymbidium), or possibly from alteration (influenced by Latin -cumbere, to lie, as in recumbere, to lie down) of *Catatumbas : Greek kata + perhaps Late Latin tumbās, accusative plural of tumba, tomb; see tomb.]