• synonyms


[sep-uh l-ker]
noun, verb (used with object), sep·ul·chred, sep·ul·chring. Chiefly British.
  1. sepulcher.
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  1. a tomb, grave, or burial place.
  2. Also called Easter sepulcher. Ecclesiastical.
    1. a cavity in a mensa for containing relics of martyrs.
    2. a structure or a recess in some old churches in which the Eucharist was deposited with due ceremonies on Good Friday and taken out at Easter in commemoration of Christ's entombment and Resurrection.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to place in a sepulcher; bury.
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Also especially British, sep·ul·chre.

Origin of sepulcher

1150–1200; Middle English sepulcre < Old French < Latin sepulcrum, equivalent to sepul- (variant stem of sepelīre to bury) + -crum noun suffix of place
Related formsun·sep·ul·cher, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for sepulcher

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sepulchre

Historical Examples of sepulchre

  • It should not be a tomb save as upon the fourth day the sepulchre in the garden!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The sepulchre of Lazarus was a cave, with a large stone upon its mouth.

  • A family or a burial association needed a place of sepulchre.

  • Indeed, the sepulchre was empty now, the very ashes had been swept out of it.

  • What a place to bury a king who had built a great pyramid for his sepulchre!

British Dictionary definitions for sepulchre


US sepulcher

  1. a burial vault, tomb, or grave
  2. Also called: Easter sepulchre a separate alcove in some medieval churches in which the Eucharistic elements were kept from Good Friday until the Easter ceremonies
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  1. (tr) to bury in a sepulchre
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Word Origin for sepulchre

C12: from Old French sépulcre, from Latin sepulcrum, from sepelīre to bury
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 sepulchre


also sepulcher, c.1200, "tomb, burial place," especially the cave where Jesus was buried outside Jerusalem (Holy Sepulcher or Saint Sepulcher), from Old French sepulcre "tomb; the Holy Sepulchre" (11c.), from Latin sepulcrum "grave, tomb, place where a corpse is buried," from root of sepelire "to bury, embalm," originally "to perform rituals on a corpse," from PIE *sep-el-yo-, suffixed form of root *sep- "to handle (skillfully), to hold (reverently);" cf. Sanskrit saparyati "honors." No reason for the -ch- spelling, which dates to 13c. Whited sepulchre "hypocrite" is from Matt. xxiii.27.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper