• synonyms


[too-myuh-luh s, tyoo-]
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noun, plural tu·mu·lus·es, tu·mu·li [too-myuh-lahy, tyoo-] /ˈtu myəˌlaɪ, ˈtyu-/.
  1. Archaeology. an artificial mound, especially over a grave; barrow.
  2. Geology. a domelike swelling or mound formed in congealed lava.
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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

Related Words for tumulus

mountain, rise, hillock, shock, drift, dune, pile, bank, embankment, knoll, mass, stack, molehill, anthill, tumulus, mote, hog, hill, mound, gurry

Examples from the Web for tumulus

Historical Examples of tumulus

  • The earliest tomb was the tumulus or mound of earth, heaped over the dead.

    Museum of Antiquity

    L. W. Yaggy

  • The tumulus may be considered as the most simple and the most ancient form of sepulture.

  • The Celtic dolmen and cromlech, the Etruscan tumulus, the Hebrew galgal, are words.

  • There are, of course, various modifications of this tumulus.

  • At this place was a vast Indian mount or tumulus, with a great terrace.

British Dictionary definitions for tumulus


noun plural -li (-liː)
  1. archaeol (no longer in technical usage) another word for barrow 2
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Word Origin for tumulus

C17: from Latin: a hillock, from tumēre to swell up
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 tumulus


ancient burial mound, 1680s, from Latin tumulus "hillock," from tumere "to swell" (see thigh).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper