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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.
of the Hebrews were generally excavated in the solid rock, or were natural caves. Mention is made of such tombs in Judg. 8:32; 2 Sam. 2:32; 2 Kings 9:28; 23:30. They were sometimes made in gardens (2 Kings 21:26; 23:16; Matt. 27:60). They are found in great numbers in and around Jerusalem and all over the land. They were sometimes whitewashed (Matt. 23:27, 29). The body of Jesus was laid in Joseph's new rock-hewn tomb, in a garden near to Calvary. All evidence is in favour of the opinion that this tomb was somewhere near the Damascus gate, and outside the city, and cannot be identified with the so-called "holy sepulchre." The mouth of such rocky tombs was usually closed by a large stone (Heb. golal), which could only be removed by the united efforts of several men (Matt. 28:2; comp. John 11:39). (See GOLGOTHA.)