[too-myuh-luh s, tyoo-]
- Archaeology. an artificial mound, especially over a grave; barrow.
- Geology. a domelike swelling or mound formed in congealed lava.
Origin of tumulus
1680–90; < Latin: mound, swelling, equivalent to tum(ēre) to swell + -ulus -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tumuli
He was to ascertain when the tumuli, or mounds, were built, and for what use.Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3)
James Athearn Jones
These tumuli approach in dimensions closely to the pyramids of Egypt.
In its vicinity are the remains of more than one hundred tumuli.
Ancient Indian tumuli and graves are often found in this neighbourhood.
The present race of aborigines can tell nothing of these tumuli.
- archaeol (no longer in technical usage) another word for barrow 2
C17: from Latin: a hillock, from tumēre to swell up
Word Origin and History for tumuli
ancient burial mound, 1680s, from Latin tumulus "hillock," from tumere "to swell" (see thigh).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper