a secret dungeon with an opening only in the ceiling, as in certain old castles.

Origin of oubliette

1810–20; < French, Middle French, equivalent to oubli(er) to forget, Old French oblider < Vulgar Latin *oblītāre, derivative of Latin oblītus (past participle of oblīvīscī to forget; see oblivion) + Middle French -ette -ette
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for oubliette

cell, vault

Examples from the Web for oubliette

Historical Examples of oubliette

  • It is the oubliette in which the Staphilinus buries the remains of his victims.

  • The gloomy chamber, however, is generally called an oubliette.

  • Do you remember the oubliette between the guard-room and the tower?

    Pietro Ghisleri

    F. (Francis) Marion Crawford

  • After the stench of the oubliette, it was like heaven to Hyla.

    The Serf

    Guy Thorne

  • In the centre of the chamber there is an oubliette to the darkness below.

    Winged Wheels in France

    Michael Myers Shoemaker

British Dictionary definitions for oubliette



a dungeon, the only entrance to which is through the top

Word Origin for oubliette

C19: from French, from oublier to forget
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 oubliette

"secret dungeon reached only via trapdoor," 1819, from French oubliette (14c.), from Middle French oublier "to forget, show negligence," Old French oblier, oblider, from Vulgar Latin *oblitare, from Latin oblitus, past participle of oblivisci "to forget" (see oblivion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper