church·​yard | \ ˈchərch-ˌyärd How to pronounce churchyard (audio) \

Definition of churchyard

: a yard that belongs to a church and is often used as a burial ground

Examples of churchyard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some, like the Tollund Man, were initially assumed to be murder victims, and many were reburied in churchyards. Robert Rubsam, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Bog Bodies," 24 Mar. 2020 In the small churchyard is the tomb of John Tradescant, the first great British plant-hunter and gardener, whose collection of curiosities became the core of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. Jenny Uglow, The New York Review of Books, "Garden of Painterly Delights," 16 Mar. 2020 Rather than bury their dead in in the parish cemetery, per tradition, at one point in the mid-14th century local residents quickly buried dozens of people at once in a mass grave on the grounds of Thornton Abbey, a mile from the churchyard. Jennifer Pinkowski, National Geographic, "Black Death discovery offers rare new look at plague catastrophe," 18 Feb. 2020 In this Northern Irish churchyard, burial plots line the paths like little marble farms for the dead. Smithsonian, "Soil From a Northern Ireland Graveyard May Lead Scientists to a Powerful New Antibiotic," 19 Dec. 2019 Their annual performances of Shakespeare, staged in the churchyard of Grace Episcopal, are free and picnic-friendly, and acted by a mix of veteran thespians and first-timers. Washington Post, "13 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 17 June 2019 The Garden is now growing 30 to 50 new saplings from that hedge, and hopes to distribute them to 20 churchyards by 2020 as part of a 10-year Church Yew Tree project. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "U.K.’s Oldest Tree Is Being Besieged by Tourists," 21 June 2019 In a touching tribute, their ashes were buried side-by-side in plots at a churchyard in Warsop, Nottinghamshire. Aletha Adu, Fox News, "Woman dies 10 days after her husband of 46 years passes away," 10 June 2018 The performance of the carol by Austria’s Kroll Family Singers and ensembles from Trinity Church took place at the Alexander Hamilton memorial in the Trinity churchyard. Deepti Hajela, The Seattle Times, "200 years of ‘Silent Night’: Singers mark carol’s birthday," 28 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'churchyard.' 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 churchyard

12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for churchyard

Time Traveler

The first known use of churchyard was in the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Churchyard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for churchyard


How to pronounce churchyard (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of churchyard

: a piece of land that belongs to and is usually close to a church and that is often used as a place to bury people


church·​yard | \ ˈchərch-ˌyärd How to pronounce churchyard (audio) \

Kids Definition of churchyard

: an area of land that belongs to and usually surrounds a church and that is often used as a burial ground

More from Merriam-Webster on churchyard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for churchyard

Nglish: Translation of churchyard for Spanish Speakers

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