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[toom] /tum/
an excavation in earth or rock for the burial of a corpse; grave.
a mausoleum, burial chamber, or the like.
a monument for housing or commemorating a dead person.
any sepulchral structure.
verb (used with object)
to place in or as if in a tomb; entomb; bury.
Origin of tomb
1225-75; Middle English tumbe < Anglo-French; Old French tombe < Late Latin tumba < Greek týmbos burial mound; akin to Latin tumēre to swell. See tumor, tumulus
Related forms
tombal, adjective
tombless, adjective
tomblike, adjective
untombed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tomb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the radiant morning he walked away from her and home; into the mine, his tomb.

  • It is a single round, low tower, shaped like the tomb of Cacilia Metella.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Which might be a glorious sort of tomb, but it did not appeal to me.

    Tenting To-night Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • They left it on her breast, in the coffin, and it went with that guilty woman to the tomb.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • It was a mild, peaceful Sabbath day when they bore her to the tomb.

British Dictionary definitions for tomb


a place, esp a vault beneath the ground, for the burial of a corpse
a stone or other monument to the dead
the tomb, a poetic term for death
anything serving as a burial place: the sea was his tomb
(transitive) (rare) to place in a tomb; entomb
Derived Forms
tomblike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French tombe, from Late Latin tumba burial mound, from Greek tumbos; related to Latin tumēre to swell, Middle Irish tomm hill
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 tomb

late 13c., from Anglo-French tumbe, Old French tombe (12c.), from Late Latin tumba (cf. Italian tomba, French tombe, Spanish tumba), from Greek tymbos "burial mound, grave, tomb," from PIE root *teu- "to swell" (see thigh). The final -b began to be silent 14c. (cf. lamb, dumb). The Tombs, slang for "New York City prison" is recorded from 1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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