noun \ ˈkript \
|Updated on: 27 Jul 2018

Definition of crypt

1 a : 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
2 a : an anatomical pit or depression
b : a simple tubular gland

Examples of crypt in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of crypt from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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.

crypt Synonyms


catacomb(s), vault;

Related Words

mausoleum, sepulchre (or sepulcher), sepulture, tomb;

Other Architecture Terms


combining form
variants: or crypto-

Definition of crypt-

1 : hidden : covered
  • cryptogenic
2 : cryptographic
  • cryptanalysis

Origin and Etymology of crypt-

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

CRYPT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of crypt for English Language Learners

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

Medical Dictionary


noun \ 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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fullness to the point of excess

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