col·​um·​bar·​i·​um ˌkä-ləm-ˈber-ē-əm How to pronounce columbarium (audio)
plural columbaria ˌkä-ləm-ˈber-ē-ə How to pronounce columbarium (audio)
: a structure of vaults lined with recesses for cinerary urns
: a recess in a columbarium

Examples of columbarium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His grave is near the path dividing the southernmost section of the cemetery from the columbarium wall, where the urns are housed. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2023 For lack of a better option, both were placed in the columbarium, two more Does for the cemetery, and another story waiting to be told. Ask a historian David Reamer writes about Anchorage history, from murders and neighborhoods to churches and chinchillas. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2023 The license for the Eternity At Sea columbarium was not renewed in 1999 by the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board. Jeastman, oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2023 The cemetery provides gravesite and columbarium facilities and various burial alternatives to roughly 235,000 veterans in San Diego County, according to the National Cemetery Administration. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2023 The owners opened the Eternity At Sea columbarium. Jeastman, oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2023 In a columbarium? Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 30 Oct. 2022 These early forays turned up a number of marvels: a columbarium, filled with urns containing ashes and bones, as well as the largest Imperial-era reservoir yet found and a number of aqueducts. Richard Pallardy, Discover Magazine, 26 May 2021 Cremated remains may be scattered, kept at home, buried in a cemetery or interred in a columbarium. Kevin Brasler, Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'columbarium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, literally, dovecote, from columba dove

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of columbarium was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near columbarium

Cite this Entry

“Columbarium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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