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late 14c., from Old French cimetiere "graveyard" (12c.), from Late Latin coemeterium, from Greek koimeterion "sleeping place, dormitory," from koiman "to put to sleep," keimai "I lie down," from PIE root *kei- "to lie, rest," also "bed, couch," hence secondary sense of "beloved, dear" (cf. Greek keisthai "to lie, lie asleep," Old Church Slavonic semija "family, domestic servants," Lithuanian šeima "domestic servants," Lettish sieva "wife," Old English hiwan "members of a household," higid "measure of land," Latin cunae "a cradle," Sanskrit Sivah "propitious, gracious"). Early Christian writers were the first to use it for "burial ground," though the Greek word also had been anciently used in reference to the sleep of death. An Old English word for "cemetery" was licburg.
place set apart for burial or entombment of the dead. Reflecting geography, religious beliefs, social attitudes, and aesthetic and sanitary considerations, cemeteries may be simple or elaborate-built with a grandeur that overshines the community of the living. They may also be regarded as "holy fields" or taboo areas. In countries such as Japan and Mexico, cemeteries are festival places on certain occasions set aside to honour the dead. In other countries and among other religious groups, they are simple and stark and generally shunned.