|—n , pl -ia|
|1.||another name for a dovecote|
|2.||a vault having niches for funeral urns|
|3.||a hole in a wall into which a beam is inserted|
|[C18: from Latin, from columba dove]|
sepulchral building containing many small niches for cinerary urns. The term is derived from the Latin columba ("dove," or "pigeon"), and it originally referred to a pigeon house or dovecote. It later acquired its more common meaning by association
Learn more about columbarium with a free trial on Britannica.com.