the yard or ground adjoining a church, often used as a graveyard.

Origin of churchyard

1125–75; Middle English chirche yeard; see church, yard2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for churchyard

Contemporary Examples of churchyard

Historical Examples of churchyard

  • But see the church in the hollow, and the folk who cluster in the churchyard!

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He went first to the churchyard, where his mother's remains had been that day interred.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • He too was agitated; for he had not seen her since their parting in the churchyard.

  • The rain was still falling as the carriage stopped at the churchyard.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Very early on the morning of the wedding the Major made his appearance in the churchyard.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

British Dictionary definitions for churchyard



the grounds surrounding a church, usually used as a graveyard
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 churchyard

early 12c., from church + yard (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper