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oubliette

[oo-blee-et] /ˌu bliˈɛt/
noun
1.
a secret dungeon with an opening only in the ceiling, as in certain old castles.
Origin of oubliette
1810-1820
1810-20; < French, Middle French, equivalent to oubli(er) to forget, Old French oblider < Vulgar Latin *oblītāre, derivative of Latin oblītus (past participle of oblīvīscī to forget; see oblivion) + Middle French -ette -ette
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for oubliette
Historical Examples
  • We were shown the cachot and the oubliette where the living body of the prisoner was attacked by rats.

    Brittany Mortimer Menpes and Dorothy Menpes
  • It is the oubliette in which the Staphilinus buries the remains of his victims.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • It was the water of the oubliette, and he gazed on it with horror as it rose, inch by inch, toward him.

  • Do you remember the oubliette between the guard-room and the tower?

    Pietro Ghisleri F. (Francis) Marion Crawford
  • It was a cursed, mediæval trick, a fitting accompaniment to the inquisitorial horrors of those ages—an English oubliette.

    Parlous Times David Dwight Wells
  • After the stench of the oubliette, it was like heaven to Hyla.

    The Serf Guy Thorne
  • Two years ago at Tiffauges a physician discovered an oubliette and brought forth piles of skulls and bones.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • Nay, lady, I could look to the gear for the oubliette if you would speak the word.

    The Dove in the Eagle's Nest Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The gloomy chamber, however, is generally called an oubliette.

    Normandy, Complete Gordon Home
  • So into the oubliette they toppled him, clapping down the door in its place above.

    A Master of Fortune Cutcliffe Hyne
British Dictionary definitions for oubliette

oubliette

/ˌuːblɪˈɛt/
noun
1.
a dungeon, the only entrance to which is through the top
Word Origin
C19: from French, from oublier to forget
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 oubliette
n.

"secret dungeon reached only via trapdoor," 1819, from French oubliette (14c.), from Middle French oublier "to forget, show negligence," Old French oblier, oblider, from Vulgar Latin *oblitare, from Latin oblitus, past participle of oblivisci "to forget" (see oblivion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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