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

Some of those graves were plundered centuries ago, largely by enemy tribes seeking to stake a claim on the territory by desecrating the Scythians’ burial sites. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads," 26 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, negotiations are underway to persuade Franco’s nine grandchildren to agree to a less conspicuous burial site, in the El Pardo cemetery, where Franco’s wife was buried in 1988. Aritz Parra, The Seattle Times, "Franco heirs take upper hand in fight over dictator’s body," 26 Oct. 2018 There are over 30,000 people listed as missing during Mexico's drug war, and authorities continue to find mass graves with hundreds of bodies at clandestine burial sites. Fox News, "Victim families confront Mexico president-elect over amnesty," 14 Sep. 2018 In a handout, tribal officials have raised concerns about the mine potentially harming burial grounds, religious spaces, agricultural gardens and village sites. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan DEQ grants final permit for controversial gold mine," 6 June 2018 Free compost bins will be available on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. The park began as a burial ground in 1855 for the Whipps family. Lisa Gueli Regnante, Howard County Times, "Korean Way on Route 40 blossoming into cultureEllicott City]," 10 May 2018 After the death of the family cat, Creed's elderly neighbor shows him a secret burial ground where animals buried there have supposedly come back to life. Tom Philip, GQ, "Stephen King's Most Messed-Up Book Is Getting a New Movie Adaptation... Starring John Lithgow," 4 May 2018 That and the surrounding burial ground is now home to many other famous graves, including her mother the Duchess of Kent, the Duke of Windsor and his controversial wife Wallis Simpson, and Queen Victoria herself. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Reception Location, Frogmore House," 27 Mar. 2018 Similarly, several of the horror signifiers that Mr. Poole traces to the 1920s film world are centuries old—the fear of premature burial goes back to Vlad the Impaler and the original Dracula myths. D.j. Taylor, WSJ, "‘Wasteland’ Review: Ghosts of the Great War," 18 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for burial

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for burial

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on burial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burial

Spanish Central: Translation of burial

Nglish: Translation of burial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about burial

Comments on burial

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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