\ ˈkript How to pronounce crypt (audio) \

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

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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

Noun the old church's crypt is the final resting place for the president and his beloved wife
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With seven children to feed, Rodalyn Adan has no way of paying $67 for her late husband’s remains to be exhumed and transferred to a permanent bone crypt, a resting spot that will eventually cost $21 a year to maintain. Los Angeles Times, "One more humiliation for the accused and killed: leased graves that expire," 3 Mar. 2021 His red quartzite tomb in Les Invalides, lying in splendid isolation in a crypt beneath the dome, receives over a million visitors a year. The Economist, "Despot, genius or both? France argues about Napoleon," 6 Mar. 2021 As dogs and their owners rambled through the graveyard, Grace and I walked up the slope behind the crypt and looked to the east. Washington Post, "In Glover Park, an old Catholic cemetery gets new life," 2 Dec. 2020 After the crypt was cleared, another officer made it to the Capitol rotunda., "'I don’t trust the people above me': Riot squad cops open up about disastrous response to Capitol insurrection," 19 Feb. 2021 Earlier this week, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from the Capitol’s crypt. al, "Confederate monuments at National Park Service sites will not be removed," 23 Dec. 2020 In the crypt, people grabbed secondhand jackets, shoes and pants for the winter. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, "On my street in Rome, the coronavirus upended two worlds," 23 Dec. 2020 The bronze Lee statue was located on the first floor in an area known as the crypt. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Robert E. Lee statue removed from US Capitol," 21 Dec. 2020 Freddy could not bring himself to bring her urn to the crypt until October. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "The Friend COVID-19 Took From Me," 11 Dec. 2020

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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Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crypt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for crypt



English Language Learners Definition of crypt

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


\ ˈkript How to pronounce crypt (audio) \

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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