noun, often attributive
buri·​al | \ ˈber-ē-əl How to pronounce burial (audio) , ˈbe-rē- also ˈbər- \

Definition of burial

1 : grave, tomb
2 : the act or process of burying

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Examples of burial in a Sentence

They prepared the body for burial. She wanted to give him a proper burial. Did you attend the burial? The law prohibits the burial of toxic substances without special permits.
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Recent Examples on the Web Someone who attended her burial, for instance, developed symptoms and took a bus to the hospital. Washington Post, "Guinea knows how to fight Ebola. But can it handle four outbreaks at once?," 19 Feb. 2021 His casket was paraded through the main streets in Accra Wednesday before his burial at the military cemetery at Burma Camp, the headquarters of Ghana's armed forces. Francis Kokutse, Star Tribune, "Ghana buries former president Jerry Rawlings with honors," 27 Jan. 2021 Her burial can offer a few clues about her untimely end and her uncannily good preservation over the intervening millennia. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Yukon gold miner unearths a mummified Ice Age wolf pup," 22 Dec. 2020 Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan star as the archeologist Basil Brown and landowner Edith Pretty, in the story of the 1939 discovery of an early medieval burial site at Sutton Hoo. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "How The Dig and Ammonite Fetishize British-ness," 27 Jan. 2021 The partially intact Gjellestad ship burial is one of the few known to survive until the present day. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Excavating Norwegian Viking Ship Burial Find Remnants of Elite Society," 12 Nov. 2020 The burial at Arlington comes 49 years after Carter-Krell was presented with her son’s Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony presided over by then-Vice President Spiro Agnew. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Vietnam War Marine awarded Medal of Honor finally buried at Arlington," 8 Nov. 2020 The 94-year-old monarch appeared Wednesday at an indoor ceremony a day prior to England's four-week coronavirus lockdown to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "New photos show Queen Elizabeth in a mask for the first time, but she skips mask for Remembrance Day," 8 Nov. 2020 And on Saturday, the monarch attended a private ceremony at Westminster Abbey to pay her respects at the grave of the Unknown Warrior on the 100th anniversary of the burial. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Wears a Face Mask in Public for the First Time to Visit the Grave of the Unknown Warrior," 8 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of burial

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for burial

Middle English beriel, berial, back-formation from beriels (taken as a plural), from Old English byrgels; akin to Old Saxon burgisli tomb, Old English byrgan to bury — more at bury

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Time Traveler for burial

Time Traveler

The first known use of burial was in the 13th century

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Statistics for burial

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Burial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burial. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for burial



English Language Learners Definition of burial

: the act or ceremony of burying a dead person in a grave
: the act of burying something in the ground


buri·​al | \ ˈber-ē-əl How to pronounce burial (audio) \

Kids Definition of burial

: the act of placing a dead body in a grave or tomb

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