Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cenotaph

play
noun ceno·taph \ˈse-nə-ˌtaf, -ˌtäf\

Simple Definition of cenotaph

  • : a special structure or statue that is built to remind people of a dead person who is buried somewhere else; especially : a structure built to honor the people who were killed in a war

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cenotaph

  1. :  a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere

Did You Know?

The word cenotaph is derived from the Greek kenos taphos, meaning "empty tomb." A cenotaph is a monument, sometimes in the form of a tomb, to a person or group of persons buried elsewhere. Ancient Greek writings tell of many cenotaphs, although none of them survives. Existing cenotaphs of this type are found in churches (for example, in Santa Croce in Florence, where there are memorials to Dante, Machiavelli, and Galileo). The term is now applied to national war memorials.

Origin and Etymology of cenotaph

French cénotaphe, from Latin cenotaphium, from Greek kenotaphion, from kenos empty + taphos tomb


First Known Use: 1578


Learn More about cenotaph


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cenotaph? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

different from the usual or normal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommadate acommodate accomodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ