[too-myuh-luh s, tyoo-]

noun, plural tu·mu·lus·es, tu·mu·li [too-myuh-lahy, tyoo-] /ˈtu myəˌlaɪ, ˈtyu-/.

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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for tumulus


noun plural -li (-liː)

archaeol (no longer in technical usage) another word for barrow 2

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper