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hypocaust

[hahy-puh-kawst, hip-uh-] /ˈhaɪ pəˌkɔst, ˈhɪp ə-/
noun
1.
a hollow space or system of channels in the floor or walls of some ancient Roman buildings that provided a central heating system by receiving and distributing the heat from a furnace.
Origin of hypocaust
1670-1680
1670-80; < Latin hypocaustum < Greek hypókauston room heated from below, equivalent to hypo- hypo- + kaustón, neuter of kaustós (verbal adjective) heated, burned; see caustic
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hypocaust
Historical Examples
  • In Bridge Street is a hypocaust remaining just where the Romans left it.

    Cheshire Charles E. Kelsey
  • It had no cloisters, no hypocaust, no suite or sequence of rooms.

    London Walter Besant
  • If there are no baths there is at all events an excellent specimen of a hypocaust, or Roman heating arrangement, to be seen.

    The Isle of Wight G. E. Mitton
  • However, after the wood in the hypocaust was once well charred, the smoke was not so troublesome.

    Stories of Useful Inventions Samuel Eagle Foreman
  • Doubtless we got our idea of the furnace from the Roman hypocaust, although the Roman invention had no special pipe for the smoke.

    Stories of Useful Inventions Samuel Eagle Foreman
  • Indeed, the hypocaust had many of the features and many of the merits of our modern furnace.

    Stories of Useful Inventions Samuel Eagle Foreman
  • In addition to the hypocaust under the floor the wall was lined with flue tiles.

  • Pliny describes a bedchamber in his villa warmed by the hypocaust and the tiles, with narrow openings.

British Dictionary definitions for hypocaust

hypocaust

/ˈhaɪpəˌkɔːst/
noun
1.
an ancient Roman heating system in which hot air circulated under the floor and between double walls
Word Origin
C17: from Latin hypocaustum, from Greek hupokauston room heated from below, from hupokaiein to light a fire beneath, from hypo- + kaiein to burn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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