\ 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 In the footage, Sansa and Tyrion are hiding out in the crypts, and are forced to help Gilly and Missandei when they are attacked by wights. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Please Enjoy This Game of Thrones Deleted Scene from Season 8," 30 Nov. 2019 Plus, Tyrion with that hand-kiss to Sansa in the crypts is striking up, if not a romance, at least a rapport with the wary and cautious Stark. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "D aenerys Targaryen Has a Huge Problem That Has Nothing to Do With Cersei," 5 May 2019 Youngest son Ahmet Zappa and longtime Zappa crypt keeper Joe Travers continue to go above and beyond in keeping the catalog of this great American composer alive and well in the 21st century. Ron Hart, Billboard, "These Are the Best Reissues of 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 The doors of the famed St. Mark’s Basilica were securely shut to the public, an authorities took precautions — stacking sandbags in canal-side windows — to prevent water from entering the crypt again. Colleen Barry And Luca Bruno,, "Record flooding again swamps soaked Venice," 17 Nov. 2019 The crypt beneath the church has been inundated with water for only the second time in its history. Drew Jones,, "7 major Venice tourist sites damaged by historic flooding," 15 Nov. 2019 In Venice, the crypt beneath St. Mark’s Basilica was inundated for only the second time in its history. Washington Post, "Italy declares state of emergency in Venice after high tides," 14 Nov. 2019 In Venice, the crypt beneath St. Mark’s Basilica was inundated for only the second time in its history. Fox News, "Venice flooding has city 'on its knees,' Italy to declare state of emergency," 14 Nov. 2019 In Venice, the crypt beneath St. Mark’s Basilica was inundated for only the second time in its history, with water entering through the windows and bypassing all defenses. Colleen Barry, Anchorage Daily News, "Venice ‘on its knees’ after second-worst king-tide flood ever recorded," 13 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for crypt

Time Traveler

The first known use of crypt was in 1583

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Last Updated

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crypt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for crypt


How to pronounce crypt- (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on crypt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crypt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crypt

Spanish Central: Translation of crypt

Nglish: Translation of crypt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crypt for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crypt

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