catacomb


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

cat·a·comb

 (kăt′ə-kōm′)
n.
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.]

catacomb

(ˈkætəˌkəʊm; -ˌkuːm)
n
1. (Building) (usually plural) an underground burial place, esp the galleries at Rome, consisting of tunnels with vaults or niches leading off them for tombs
2. (Building) a series of interconnected underground tunnels or caves
3. (Physical Geography) a series of interconnected underground tunnels or caves
[Old English catacumbe, from Late Latin catacumbas (singular), name of the cemetery under the Basilica of St Sebastian, near Rome; origin unknown]

cat•a•comb

(ˈkæt əˌkoʊm)

n.
1. Usu., catacombs. an underground cemetery, esp. one consisting of tunnels and rooms with recesses dug out for coffins and tombs.
2. the Catacombs, the subterranean burial chambers of the early Christians in and near Rome, Italy.
3. an underground passageway, esp. one full of twists and turns.
[before 900; Middle English catacombe, Old English catacumbe < Late Latin catacumbās (acc. pl.)]

catacomb

A subterranean burial ground, best known as used by the early Christians outside the walls of Rome.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catacomb - an underground tunnel with recesses where bodies were buried (as in ancient Rome)catacomb - an underground tunnel with recesses where bodies were buried (as in ancient Rome)
tunnel - a passageway through or under something, usually underground (especially one for trains or cars); "the tunnel reduced congestion at that intersection"
capital of Italy, Eternal City, Italian capital, Rome, Roma - capital and largest city of Italy; on the Tiber; seat of the Roman Catholic Church; formerly the capital of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire
antiquity - the historic period preceding the Middle Ages in Europe

catacomb

noun
A burial place or receptacle for human remains:
Translations
References in classic literature ?
The Benton Harbor refuge was a catacomb, the entrance of which was cunningly contrived by way of a well.
We passed the night in Punta Alta, and I employed myself in searching for fossil bones; this point being a perfect catacomb for monsters of extinct races.
It was the Tomb of many fortunes; the Great Catacomb of investment; the memorable United States Bank.
Tierce after tierce, too, of water, and bread, and beef, and shooks of staves, and iron bundles of hoops, were hoisted out, till at last the piled decks were hard to get about; and the hollow hull echoed under foot, as if you were treading over empty catacombs, and reeled and rolled in the sea like an air-freighted demijohn.
We came at length to the foot of the descent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors.
They made him get out, walk along the banks of the river, and then brought him to Teresa and Luigi, who were waiting for him in the catacombs of St.
And to Adam the church service was the best channel he could have found for his mingled regret, yearning, and resignation; its interchange of beseeching cries for help with outbursts of faith and praise, its recurrent responses and the familiar rhythm of its collects, seemed to speak for him as no other form of worship could have done; as, to those early Christians who had worshipped from their childhood upwards in catacombs, the torch-light and shadows must have seemed nearer the Divine presence than the heathenish daylight of the streets.
Belzoni, worming himself through the subterranean passages of the Egyptian catacombs, could not have met with great impediments than those we here encountered.
It had been five thousand and fifty years and some months since he had been consigned to the catacombs at Eleithias.
The ruins of Caesar's Palace, Pompey's Pillar, Cleopatra's Needle, the Catacombs, and ruins of ancient Alexandria will be found worth the visit.
And he dreamed that the Holy Virgin Mother of the Kiev catacombs came to him and said, 'Believe in me and I will make you whole.
Catacombs of Paris and Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the