\ˈkript \

Definition of crypt 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a chamber (such as a vault) wholly or partly underground especially : a vault under the main floor of a church

b : a chamber in a mausoleum

2a : an anatomical pit or depression

b : a simple tubular gland

variants: or crypto-

Definition of crypt- (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : hidden : covered cryptogenic

2 : cryptographic cryptanalysis

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Synonyms for crypt

Synonyms: Noun

catacomb(s), vault

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Did You Know?

Hidden under the main floor of a great church is often a large room, often with a tomb as its centerpiece. Many major European churches were built over the remains of a saint—the Vatican's great St. Peter's Basilica is an example—and instead of having the coffin buried, it was often given its spacious room below ground level. In a large aboveground tomb, or mausoleum, there may be several small chambers for individual coffins, also called crypts; when the comic book Tales from the Crypt made its first appearance in 1950, it was this meaning that the authors were referring to.

Examples of crypt in a Sentence


the old church's crypt is the final resting place for the president and his beloved wife

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The most obvious alternative place for Franco’s embalmed corpse is alongside his wife, Carmen Polo, who died in 1988 and who lies in a crypt in the cemetery of El Pardo, Franco’s former residence near Madrid. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "Plan to Exhume Franco Renews Spain’s Wrestle With History," 7 July 2018 In 1873, the remains were moved to a crypt at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, now known as Fort Greene Park, where they were stored in 22 slate boxes. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "‘Turn out your dead!’ In America’s War for Independence, POWs paid a terrible price.," 4 July 2018 Local officials had also kept some records, including a report stating that on April 8, 1959, nine pinewood caskets containing 81 bodies from Calatayud arrived at the Valley of the Fallen and were placed in a crypt inside the basilica. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 The deaf, great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria saved Jews during World War II and her last wishes were to have her remains buried in a crypt below a Russian Orthodox church in east Jerusalem. Washington Post, "Prince William’s Jerusalem visit highlights unique ancestor," 27 June 2018 The Winged Victory of Samothrace statue sits midway in its main stairwell, as does and the Sphinx (circa 2000 BC) — whose crypt guards the museum’s collection of Egyptology. Peter Mikelbank,, "Inside Beyoncé and JAY-Z's 'Apes—': A Guide to All the Art in the Epic Music Video," 20 June 2018 In 1986, 200 years after his death, a bronze plaque was placed at his crypt honoring his deeds in the American Revolution. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "See how Texas beef (partially) helped win the American Revolutionary War," 2 July 2018 In the Capulet crypt, Romeo stabs himself instead of taking poison. Jeffrey Gantz,, "Boston Ballet elevates Cranko’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’," 16 Mar. 2018 The photo appears to show Snow in the crypts of Winterfell, where his mother Lyanna is buried. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "14 Game of Thrones Theories That Will Blow Your Mind in Season 7," 23 Aug. 2017

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


1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for crypt


borrowed from Latin crypta, crupta "covered passage, underground room," borrowed from Greek kryptḗ "underground room," noun derivative from feminine of kryptós "hidden, secret," verbal adjective of krýptein "to hide, conceal," of uncertain origin

Note: The verb krýptein is phonetically and semantically close to kalýptein "to cover, conceal," and the two may have influenced each other. Other forms with which krýptein has been compared, such as Old Church Slavic kryjǫ, kryti "to cover, hide, shroud," Lithuanian kráuju, kráuti "to pile up," are too distant phonetically to allow realistic reconstruction of an Indo-European verbal base. The alternation in consonants between kryp- (in krýptein, kryptós), kryb- (in krýbdēn "secretly"), and kryph- (in kryphêi "in secret," -kryphos "hidden") is apparently the result of both assimilation and analogy.

Combining form

combining form from Greek kryptós "hidden, secret" — more at crypt

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Statistics for crypt

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for crypt

The first known use of crypt was in 1583

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English Language Learners Definition of crypt

: a room under a church in which people are buried after they have died


\ˈkript \

Medical Definition of crypt 

1 : an anatomical pit, depression, or invagination a developing tooth in its bony crypt — see tonsillar crypt

2 : a simple tubular gland (as a crypt of Lieberkühn)

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Comments on crypt

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


to express warning or disapproval

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