[ kript ]
/ krɪpt /
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a subterranean chamber or vault, especially one beneath the main floor of a church, used as a burial place, a location for secret meetings, etc.
Anatomy. a slender pit or recess; a small glandular cavity.
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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of crypt

1375–1425 for sense “grotto”; 1555–65 for current senses; late Middle English cripte<Latin crypta<Greek kryptḗ hidden place, noun use of feminine of kryptós hidden, verbid of krýptein to hide; replacing earlier crypta<Latin, as above


un·der·crypt, noun

Other definitions for crypt (2 of 2)


variant of crypto- before a vowel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does crypt- mean?

Crypto- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “hidden, secret.” It is used in many scientific, medical, and other technical terms.

Crypto- comes from the Greek kryptós, meaning “hidden.” The word crypt also derives from this root. Dig up the connection at our entry for the word.

In anatomy, crypto- specifically refers to a crypt in its specialized sense of a “slender pit or recess” or a “small glandular cavity.”

Crypt- is a variant of crypto-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use crypto- article.

Examples of crypt-

The combining form crypt- is featured in the word cryptonym, meaning “a secret name or word” or “a code name or code word.”

The first part of the word, crypt-, means “secret.” The second part, -onym, means “word” or “name.” Cryptonym literally means “secret name.”

What are some words that use or are related to the combining form crypt-?

What are some other forms that crypt- may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form -ectomy means “excision.” What does the medical procedure cryptectomy involve?

How to use crypt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for crypt

/ (krɪpt) /

a cellar, vault, or underground chamber, esp beneath a church, where it is often used as a chapel, burial place, etc
anatomy any pitlike recess or depression

Derived forms of crypt

cryptal, adjective

Word Origin for crypt

C18: from Latin crypta, from Greek kruptē vault, secret place, from kruptos hidden, from kruptein to hide
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

Medical definitions for crypt

[ krĭpt ]

A small pit, recess, or glandular cavity in the body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.