Share this entry

cemetery Line breaks: ceme|tery
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛmɪtri/

Definition of cemetery in English:

noun (plural cemeteries)

A large burial ground, especially one not in a churchyard: a military cemetery
More 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, burial place, burying place, burying ground, garden of remembrance;
Scottish kirkyard;
North American memorial park
informal boneyard
literary golgotha
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.

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 luxe
Pronunciation: lʌks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious