Definition of cemetery in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈseməˌterē/

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.
graveyard, churchyard, burial ground, burying ground, necropolis, memorial park/garden
informal boneyard
historical potter's field
archaic God's acre


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

  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cem·e·ter·y

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