columbarium

[kol-uh m-bair-ee-uh m]
noun, plural col·um·bar·i·a [kol-uh m-bair-ee-uh] /ˌkɒl əmˈbɛər i ə/.
  1. a sepulchral vault or other structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead.
  2. any one of these recesses.
  3. columbary.

Origin of columbarium

1840–50; < Latin: literally, a nesting box for pigeons, equivalent to columb(a) pigeon, dove + -ārium -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of columbarium


British Dictionary definitions for columbarium

columbarium

noun plural -ia (-ɪə)
  1. another name for a dovecote
  2. a vault having niches for funeral urns
  3. a hole in a wall into which a beam is inserted

Word Origin for columbarium

C18: from Latin, from columba dove
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 columbarium
n.

"subterranean sepulchre in ancient Roman places with niches for urns holding remains," neuter of Latin columbarius, "dove-cote" (so called from resemblance), literally "pertaining to doves;" from columba "dove." Literal sense of "dove-cote" is attested in English from 1881.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper