[ dohl-men, -muh n, dol- ]
/ ˈdoʊl mɛn, -mən, ˈdɒl- /

noun Archaeology.

a structure usually regarded as a tomb, consisting of two or more large, upright stones set with a space between and capped by a horizontal stone.
Compare chamber tomb.

Origin of dolmen

1855–60; < French < Cornish, lenited form of tolmen hole of stone (taken by French archeologists to mean cromlech)
Also called portal tomb.

Related forms

dol·men·ic [dohl-men-ik, dol-] /doʊlˈmɛn ɪk, dɒl-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dolmen

British Dictionary definitions for dolmen


/ (ˈdɒlmɛn) /


(in British archaeology) a Neolithic stone formation, consisting of a horizontal stone supported by several vertical stones, and thought to be a tomb
(in French archaeology) any megalithic tomb

Word Origin for dolmen

C19: from French, probably from Old Breton tol table, from Latin tabula board + Breton mēn stone, of Celtic origin; see table
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