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[oo-blee-et] /ˌu bliˈɛt/
a secret dungeon with an opening only in the ceiling, as in certain old castles.
Origin of oubliette
1810-20; < French, Middle French, equivalent to oubli(er) to forget, Old French oblider < Vulgar Latin *oblītāre, derivative of Latin oblītus (past participle of oblīvīscī to forget; see oblivion) + Middle French -ette -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oubliette
Historical Examples
  • It is the oubliette in which the Staphilinus buries the remains of his victims.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • The gloomy chamber, however, is generally called an oubliette.

    Normandy, Complete Gordon Home
  • Do you remember the oubliette between the guard-room and the tower?

    Pietro Ghisleri F. (Francis) Marion Crawford
  • After the stench of the oubliette, it was like heaven to Hyla.

    The Serf Guy Thorne
  • In the centre of the chamber there is an oubliette to the darkness below.

    Winged Wheels in France Michael Myers Shoemaker
  • Nay, lady, I could look to the gear for the oubliette if you would speak the word.

    The Dove in the Eagle's Nest Charlotte M. Yonge
  • So into the oubliette they toppled him, clapping down the door in its place above.

    A Master of Fortune

    Cutcliffe Hyne
  • The oubliette--Almeric shuddered, and the colour faded from his face.

    The House of Walderne A. D. Crake
  • The garden contained an oubliette, down which Mrs. Marsh, while walking in the evening, inadvertently fell.

    Masques & Phases Robert Ross
  • Well, the games went on; and nothing would please some of the young ones but we should see the oubliette.

British Dictionary definitions for oubliette


a dungeon, the only entrance to which is through the top
Word Origin
C19: from French, from oublier to forget
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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Word Origin and History for oubliette

"secret dungeon reached only via trapdoor," 1819, from French oubliette (14c.), from Middle French oublier "to forget, show negligence," Old French oblier, oblider, from Vulgar Latin *oblitare, from Latin oblitus, past participle of oblivisci "to forget" (see oblivion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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