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[thoh-los, -lohs] /ˈθoʊ lɒs, -loʊs/
noun, plural tholoi
[thoh-loi] /ˈθoʊ lɔɪ/ (Show IPA)
  1. a circular building.
  2. a small, round structure, as a lantern.
  3. a circular subterranean tomb, lined with masonry.
a subterranean domed tomb chamber of the Mycenaean age.
1895-1900; < Greek thólos literally, rotunda Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for tholos


noun (pl) -loi (-lɔɪ)
a dry-stone beehive-shaped tomb associated with the Mycenaean culture of Greece in the 16th to the 12th century bc
Word Origin
C17: from Greek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for tholos

in ancient Greek architecture, a circular building with a conical or vaulted roof and with or without a peristyle, or surrounding colonnade. In the Mycenaean period, tholoi were large ceremonial tombs, sometimes built into the sides of hills; they were beehive-shaped and covered by a corbeled arch. In classical Greece, the tholos at Delphi had a peristyle; the tholos in Athens, serving as a dining hall for the Athenian Senate, had no outside columns. The tholos at Epidaurus, designed by Polyclitus, was a circular chamber with a Doric colonnade outside and a Corinthian within; it contained exquisite carvings. The foundations were a series of concentric walls with doors and partitions that made a subterranean labyrinth. The tholos at Olympia, known as the Philippeum, was a round building of the Ionic order, with Corinthian half columns on the inside; it was erected by Philip II of Macedon to commemorate his victory over the Greeks at Chaeronea in 338 BC.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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