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[sem-i-ter-ee] /ˈsɛm ɪˌtɛr i/
noun, plural cemeteries.
an area set apart for or containing graves, tombs, or funeral urns, especially one that is not a churchyard; burial ground; graveyard.
Origin of cemetery
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin coemētērium < Greek koimētḗrion a sleeping place, equivalent to koimē- (variant stem of koimân to put to sleep) + -tērion suffix of locality Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cemetery
  • In one dream, he limped up the gravel road from our family cemetery and tapped on my bedroom window.
  • The smell of formaldehyde seeps out into the nearby hospital and cemetery.
  • The architecture of the newfound cemetery may be unique among the tombs found so far at the oasis, officials said.
  • His name and photo reside on a cold piece of granite in a cemetery.
  • Families trek to the cemetery to remember dead loved ones.
  • Changes include allowing a village to keep its cemetery.
  • There's a pioneer cemetery on the edge of town, where its first residents are buried.
  • Exit through the sacristy and stroll through the cemetery chapel.
  • Three days later, it was installed in a military cemetery in the suburbs.
  • He once took a shot of a cemetery in the background, a one-way sign in the foreground.
British Dictionary definitions for cemetery


noun (pl) -teries
a place where the dead are buried, esp one not attached to a church
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin coemētērium, from Greek koimētērion room for sleeping, from koiman to put to sleep
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
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Word Origin and History for cemetery

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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