a burial ground, often associated with smaller rural churches, as distinct from a larger urban or public cemetery.
Informal. graveyard shift.
a place in which obsolete or derelict objects are kept: an automobile graveyard.

Origin of graveyard

First recorded in 1765–75; grave1 + yard2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for graveyard

cemetery, necropolis, boneyard

Examples from the Web for graveyard

Contemporary Examples of graveyard

Historical Examples of graveyard

  • And he stood there lookin', and he says to me: 'No, Katy, that is a graveyard.'

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • On walks along the waterfront he would treat it all like a graveyard.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • So you stop away from school, and I find you in the graveyard!

  • But he rather liked to visit the graveyard on Sunday afternoons.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Kendrick, I wasn't so far off when I talked about that graveyard trip, eh?

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for graveyard



a place for graves; a burial ground, esp a small one or one in a churchyard
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 graveyard

1773, from grave (n.) + yard (n.1). Graveyard shift "late-night work" is c.1907, from earlier nautical term, in reference to the loneliness of after-hours work.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper