sarcophagus


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sar·coph·a·gus

 (sär-kŏf′ə-gəs)
n. pl. sar·coph·a·gi (-jī′) or sar·coph·a·gus·es
A stone coffin, often inscribed or decorated with sculpture.

[Latin, from Greek sarkophagos, coffin, from (lithos) sarkophagos, limestone that consumed the flesh of corpses laid in it : sarx, sark-, flesh + -phagos, -phagous.]
Word History: Sarcophagus, our term for a stone coffin located above ground, has a macabre origin befitting a macabre thing. Its ultimate source is the Greek word sarkophagos, "eating flesh, carnivorous," a compound derived from sarx, "flesh," and phagein, "to eat." Sarkophagos was also used in the phrase lithos ("stone") sarkophagos to denote a kind of limestone with caustic properties from which coffins were made in the ancient world. The Roman natural historian Pliny the Elder says that this stone was quarried near the town of Assos in the Troad and describes its remarkable properties as follows: "It is well known that the bodies of the dead placed in it will be completely consumed after forty days, except for the teeth." The Greek term sarkophagos could also be used by itself as a noun to mean simply "coffin." Greek sarkophagos was borrowed into Latin as sarcophagus and used in the phrase lapis ("stone") sarcophagus to refer to the same stone as in Greek. In Latin, too, sarcophagus came to be used as a noun meaning "coffin made of any material." The first known attestation of the word sarcophagus in English dates from 1601 and occurs in a translation of Pliny's description of the stone. Later, sarcophagus begins to be used in English with the meaning "stone coffin," especially in descriptions of sarcophagi from antiquity.

sarcophagus

(sɑːˈkɒfəɡəs)
n, pl -gi (-ˌɡaɪ) or -guses
a stone or marble coffin or tomb, esp one bearing sculpture or inscriptions
[C17: via Latin from Greek sarkophagos flesh-devouring; from the type of stone used, which was believed to destroy the flesh of corpses]

sar•coph•a•gus

(sɑrˈkɒf ə gəs)

n., pl. -gi (-ˌdʒaɪ, -ˌgaɪ) -gus•es.
a stone coffin, esp. one bearing sculpture, inscriptions, etc., often displayed as a monument.
[1595–1605; < Latin < Greek sarkophágos coffin]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sarcophagus - a stone coffin (usually bearing sculpture or inscriptions)sarcophagus - a stone coffin (usually bearing sculpture or inscriptions)
casket, coffin - box in which a corpse is buried or cremated
Translations
sarkofág
sarkofag
sarkofagi
sarkofag
szarkofág
石棺
sarkofag
sarkofag

sarcophagus

[sɑːˈkɒfəgəs] N (sarcophaguses or sarcophagi (pl)) [sɑːˈkɒfəgaɪ]sarcófago m

sarcophagus

[sɑːrˈkɒfəgəs] [sarcophagi] [sɑːrˈkɒfəgaɪ] (pl) nsarcophage m

sarcophagus

n pl <sarcophagi> → Sarkophag m

sarcophagus

[sɑːˈkɒfəgəs] n (sarcophaguses or sarcophagi (pl)) → sarcofago
References in classic literature ?
The sarcophagus separated in two parts, lengthwise, and the lower part sank down and disclosed a coffin of rock crystal as clear as the atmosphere.
Helpless, ridiculous, confined, bobbing like a toy mandarin, you sit like a rat in a trap--you, before whom butlers cringe on solid land--and must squeak upward through a slit in your peripatetic sarcophagus to make your feeble wishes known.
She singled out from their number an old salt, whose bare arms and feet, and exposed breast, were covered with as many inscriptions in India ink as the lid of an Egyptian sarcophagus.
Your own brother-in-law;' introducing a sarcophagus within the railing, white and cold in the moonlight.
And who substituted for the ancient gothic altar, splendidly encumbered with shrines and reliquaries, that heavy marble sarcophagus, with angels' heads and clouds, which seems a specimen pillaged from the Val-de-Grâce or the Invalides?
A modern traveller, in twelve lines, burdens the poor little island with the following titles, -- it is a grave, tomb, pyramid, cemetery, sepulchre, catacomb, sarcophagus, minaret, and mausoleum!
Lying in it, as in a grave or sarcophagus, with a hurried drapery of sheet and blanket thrown across it, was the body of a heavily-made man, with an obtuse head, and coarse, mean, common features.
A grand piano stood mas- sively in a corner, with dark gleams on the flat sur- faces like a somber and polished sarcophagus.
The archaeologist revealed the tomb was discovered three weeks ago when researchers found pieces of a limestone sarcophagus believed to belong to the ancient king.
The sarcophagus does not meet mechanical and structural safety requirements .
Expert conservationist Jane Thompson and students led by Dr Gillian Shephard (above) from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology at Birmingham University are preserving an Egyptian sarcophagus believed to date from 550BC.
The most famous sarcophagus, which inspired the students for their own drawings of sarcophagi, was the one made for the boy-king Tutankhamen (King Tut).