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A Neolithic tomb consisting of two or more upright stones with a capstone, believed to have been buried in earth except for a central opening.
[French (introduced in 1792 as a technical term by Théophile Malo de La Tour d'Auvergne-Corret, French soldier and antiquarian ), either from Cornish dolmen, form (with grammatical mutation of the initial consonant) of tolmen, dolmen, literally "hole of stone" (Cornish tol, hole (since people or animals can pass under a dolmen); akin to Welsh twll and Old Irish toll + Cornish men, stone; akin to Breton maen; see menhir), or from misinterpretation of Breton *daolvaen, form (with grammatical mutation of the initial consonant) of *taolvaen, literally, "table of stone" (Breton taol, table from Middle Breton, from Latin tabula, board + Breton maen, stone; see menhir).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Archaeology) (in British archaeology) a Neolithic stone formation, consisting of a horizontal stone supported by several vertical stones, and thought to be a tomb
2. (Archaeology) (in French archaeology) any megalithic tomb
[C19: from French, probably from Old Breton tol table, from Latin tabula board + Breton mēn stone, of Celtic origin; see table]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
dol•men(ˈdoʊl mɛn, -mən, ˈdɒl-)
a structure usu. regarded as a tomb, consisting of two or more large, upright stones set with a space between and capped by a horizontal stone.
[1855–60; < French < Cornish, variant (by lenition) of tolmen hole of stone (taken by French archaeologists to mean cromlech)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
a construction consisting of two or more upright stones with a third on top, regarded by archaeologists as an ancient tomb or monument.See also: Stones
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Neolithic structure consisting of a large flat stone supported horizontally on two or more upright stones, thought to have been used as a tomb.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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|Noun||1.||dolmen - a prehistoric megalithic tomb typically having two large upright stones and a capstone|
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