- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hypocaust
In Bridge Street is a hypocaust remaining just where the Romans left it.Cheshire
Charles E. Kelsey
It had no cloisters, no hypocaust, no suite or sequence of rooms.London
If there are no baths there is at all events an excellent specimen of a hypocaust, or Roman heating arrangement, to be seen.The Isle of Wight
G. E. Mitton
However, after the wood in the hypocaust was once well charred, the smoke was not so troublesome.
Doubtless we got our idea of the furnace from the Roman hypocaust, although the Roman invention had no special pipe for the smoke.
- an ancient Roman heating system in which hot air circulated under the floor and between double walls
C17: from Latin hypocaustum, from Greek hupokauston room heated from below, from hupokaiein to light a fire beneath, from hypo- + kaiein to burn