Origin of catacomb
Examples from the Web for catacomb
This is the most ancient Christian catacomb, as may be seen from the paintings and brickwork of the vestibule.Rambles in Rome|S. Russell Forbes
At a short distance on the same side of the road is the Catacomb of Sts.Roman Mosaics|Hugh Macmillan
The existence of this inscription makes the destruction of this catacomb under Pius IX.Walks in Rome|Augustus J.C. Hare
Each hole contained a sleeping soldier who looked as dead as the occupant of a catacomb.The Glory of the Trenches|Coningsby Dawson
They occur in a gallery of the Catacomb, not far from the Appian Way.The Catacombs of Rome|William Henry Withrow
British Dictionary definitions for catacomb
Word Origin for catacomb
Word Origin and History for catacomb
usually catacombs, from Old English catacumbas, from Late Latin (400 C.E.) catacumbae (plural), originally the region of underground tombs between the 2nd and 3rd milestones of the Appian Way (where the bodies of apostles Paul and Peter, among others, were said to have been laid), origin obscure, perhaps once a proper name, or dissimilation from Latin cata tumbas "at the graves," from cata- "among" + tumbas. accusative plural of tumba "tomb" (see tomb).
If so, the word perhaps was altered by influence of Latin -cumbere "to lie." From the same source are French catacombe, Italian catacomba, Spanish catacumba. Extended by 1836 in English to any subterranean receptacle of the dead (as in Paris). Related: Catacumbal.