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[too-myuh-luh s, tyoo-] /ˈtu myə ləs, ˈtyu-/
noun, plural tumuluses, tumuli
[too-myuh-lahy, tyoo-] /ˈtu myəˌlaɪ, ˈtyu-/ (Show IPA)
Archaeology. an artificial mound, especially over a grave; barrow.
Geology. a domelike swelling or mound formed in congealed lava.
Origin of tumulus
1680-90; < Latin: mound, swelling, equivalent to tum(ēre) to swell + -ulus -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tumulus
  • In the centre was a hillock or tumulus, surmounted by a scorched hawthorn.
  • The pressure uplifts the crust at some weak point to form a tumulus.
  • tumulus and vault facilities are now typically used at these humid sites.
British Dictionary definitions for tumulus


noun (pl) -li (-liː)
(archaeol) (no longer in technical usage) another word for barrow2
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: a hillock, from tumēre to swell up
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 tumulus

ancient burial mound, 1680s, from Latin tumulus "hillock," from tumere "to swell" (see thigh).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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