[osh-oo-er-ee, os-]

noun, plural os·su·ar·ies.

a place or receptacle for the bones of the dead.

Also ossuarium.

Origin of ossuary

1650–60; < Late Latin ossuārium, variant of ossārium, equivalent to oss- (stem of os) bone + -ārium -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for ossuary


noun plural -aries

any container for the burial of human bones, such as an urn or vault

Word Origin for ossuary

C17: from Late Latin ossuārium, from Latin os bone
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 ossuary

"urn for the bones of the dead," 1650s, from Late Latin ossuarium "charnel house," from neuter of Latin ossuarius "of bones," from Latin os (plural ossua) "bone" (see osseous) on model of mortuarium.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper