- a sepulchral vault or other structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead.
- any one of these recesses.
Origin of columbarium
Examples from the Web for columbarium
On the road to Assiut is a fine Roman columbarium or dove-cote.
In the rectory orchard close by is the "columbarium," or all that is left of it.Seaward Sussex
There is the Roman columbarium, within the Etruscan site; there are the Etruscan tombs bored deep in all the surrounding hills.Studies of Travel: Italy
Edward A. Freeman
In these gardens an interesting discovery has just been made; an extensive burial place, or columbarium, in singular preservation.The Diary of an Ennuye
Anna Brownell Jameson
Columbarium means not only a dovecote, but also a sepulchre, with niches for urns.Jerusalem Explored, Volume I--Text
- another name for a dovecote
- a vault having niches for funeral urns
- a hole in a wall into which a beam is inserted
Word Origin and History for columbarium
"subterranean sepulchre in ancient Roman places with niches for urns holding remains," neuter of Latin columbarius, "dove-cote" (so called from resemblance), literally "pertaining to doves;" from columba "dove." Literal sense of "dove-cote" is attested in English from 1881.