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

necropolis

play
noun ne·crop·o·lis \nə-ˈkrä-pə-ləs, ne-\

Simple Definition of necropolis

  • : a large cemetery especially of an ancient city

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of necropolis

plural

necropolises

or

necropoles

play \-ˌlēz\ or

-leis

\-ˌlās\ or

necropoli

play \-ˌlī, -ˌlē\
  1. :  cemetery; especially :  a large elaborate cemetery of an ancient city

Examples of necropolis in a sentence

  1. Archaeologists uncovered a necropolis of ancient Rome.

  2. <an ancient necropolis that has given archaeologists valuable insights into how people once lived and died>



Did You Know?

With its -polis ending, meaning "city", a necropolis is a "city of the dead". Most of the famous necropolises of Egypt line the Nile River across from their cities. In ancient Greece and Rome, a necropolis would often line the road leading out of a city; in the 1940s a great Roman necropolis was discovered under the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica. Some more recent cemeteries especially deserve the name necropolis because they resemble cities of aboveground tombs, a necessity in low-lying areas such as New Orleans where a high water table prevents underground burial.

Origin and Etymology of necropolis

Late Latin, city of the dead, from Greek nekropolis, from nekr- + -polis -polis


First Known Use: 1819


Learn More about necropolis


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

divulge placate defame beat
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