[ hahy-puh-kawst, hip-uh- ]
/ ˈhaɪ pəˌkɔst, ˈhɪp ə- /


a hollow space or system of channels in the floor or walls of some ancient Roman buildings that provided a central heating system by receiving and distributing the heat from a furnace.

Origin of hypocaust

1670–80; < Latin hypocaustum < Greek hypókauston room heated from below, equivalent to hypo- hypo- + kaustón, neuter of kaustós (verbal adjective) heated, burned; see caustic
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Example sentences from the Web for hypocaust

British Dictionary definitions for hypocaust

/ (ˈhaɪpəˌkɔːst) /


an ancient Roman heating system in which hot air circulated under the floor and between double walls

Word Origin for hypocaust

C17: from Latin hypocaustum, from Greek hupokauston room heated from below, from hupokaiein to light a fire beneath, from hypo- + kaiein to burn
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