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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 tomblike
Historical Examples
  • A tomblike silence brooded there, as in all the stricken colony.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • The sounds of pursuit faded, were lost in the tomblike silence of the caves.

    A World is Born Leigh Douglass Brackett
  • In the green radiance he and Gutierrez were like ghouls prowling over me, and their muffled toneless voices, tomblike.

  • And here within this tomblike wreck had appeared the purple flame.

    The Purple Flame Roy J. Snell
  • And as he faced her, there in the tomblike vault, their eyes met silently.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • There, as it seemed to her, in that tomblike abode, lay the end of all her happiness.

    Heart's Desire Emerson Hough
  • After the warmth of the March sun outdoors the house was cold with that clammy, penetrating, tomblike chill of the Italian home.

    Cheerful--By Request Edna Ferber
  • The sun's hot rays scorch the pedestrian as he walks over the sizzling pavement of the ultra-quiet and tomblike town.

  • Without becoming stale or unpleasant, it grew cold, clear and refined, and somehow suggested austere and tomblike thoughts.

    A Voyage to Arcturus David Lindsay
British Dictionary definitions for tomblike


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 tomblike



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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