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cemetery

[sem-i-ter-ee]
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noun, plural cem·e·ter·ies.
  1. an area set apart for or containing graves, tombs, or funeral urns, especially one that is not a churchyard; burial ground; graveyard.
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Origin of cemetery

1375–1425; late Middle English < Late Latin coemētērium < Greek koimētḗrion a sleeping place, equivalent to koimē- (variant stem of koimân to put to sleep) + -tērion suffix of locality
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

tomb, garden, graveyard, mortuary, ossuary, crypt, sepulcher, catacomb, necropolis, vault, grave, Golgotha, churchyard, charnel

Examples from the Web for cemetery

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Passing the Jewish cemetery, Kate and Harry paused a moment.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Macarius was attacked when in a cemetery, and passed a whole night in defending himself.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Not long since I took occasion to visit the cemetery near this city.

  • Tip watched her, and she took the road leading to the cemetery.

  • This we dignified, even in common speech; it was always grandly "the Cemetery."

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown


British Dictionary definitions for cemetery

cemetery

noun plural -teries
  1. a place where the dead are buried, esp one not attached to a church
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Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin coemētērium, from Greek koimētērion room for sleeping, from koiman to put to sleep
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

Word Origin and History for cemetery

n.

late 14c., from Old French cimetiere "graveyard" (12c.), from Late Latin coemeterium, from Greek koimeterion "sleeping place, dormitory," from koiman "to put to sleep," keimai "I lie down," from PIE root *kei- "to lie, rest," also "bed, couch," hence secondary sense of "beloved, dear" (cf. Greek keisthai "to lie, lie asleep," Old Church Slavonic semija "family, domestic servants," Lithuanian šeima "domestic servants," Lettish sieva "wife," Old English hiwan "members of a household," higid "measure of land," Latin cunae "a cradle," Sanskrit Sivah "propitious, gracious"). Early Christian writers were the first to use it for "burial ground," though the Greek word also had been anciently used in reference to the sleep of death. An Old English word for "cemetery" was licburg.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper