Share this entry

cemetery Syllabification: cem·e·ter·y
Pronunciation: /ˈseməˌterē/

Definition of cemetery in English:

noun (plural cemeteries)

A burial ground; a graveyard.
Example sentences
  • Funerals are held in churches, and burials are in churchyards or public cemeteries.
  • To her horror, she found there was no official record of James's burial in the cemetery.
  • Having looked in the local churchyards and cemeteries, I can find no trace of any Jacksons.
Synonyms
graveyard, churchyard, burial ground, burying ground, necropolis, memorial park/garden
informal boneyard
historical potter's field
archaic God's acre

Origin

Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek koimētērion 'dormitory', from koiman 'put to sleep'.

More
  • A cemetery is literally a place for sleeping. The word came from Greek koimētērion, ‘dormitory’, from koiman ‘to put to sleep’. It was early Christian writers who first gave it the meaning of ‘burial ground’, applying it to the underground cemeteries or catacombs in Rome.

Words that rhyme with cemetery

solitary • limitary

Definition of cemetery in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
adjective
arrogantly superior and disdainful