: a chamber (such as a vault) wholly or partly underground
especially : a vault under the main floor of a church
: a chamber in a mausoleum
: an anatomical pit or depression
: a simple tubular gland

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 Playboy founder Hefner later arranged to be laid to rest in a crypt next to the actor. Leah Dolan, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 The building features a number of elaborate interior details, including crypts and tombs, cenotaphs, iwans, chhatris, and minarets, as well as sarcophagus elements. Kathleen Felton, Travel + Leisure, 8 Feb. 2024 Adding crypts remains an option though, but would cost an additional $6.7 million. Michael Slaten, Orange County Register, 26 Jan. 2024 Justin Simien made sure every crypt door creaked and every tombstone quaked in Haunted Mansion, his spirited movie adaptation of the beloved Disney parks attractions operating at several resorts around the world. Joey Nolfi,, 28 July 2023 The price of crypts at the famous LA memorial park has fluctuated over the years. Leah Dolan, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 All hell breaks loose when the campers fall into a nest of conspiring townsfolk and a secret society practicing ritual sacrifice to a terrifying creature from the crypt. Patrick Frater, Variety, 12 Feb. 2024 After the Halloween party incident, Joanne acquired a crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 13 Mar. 2024 Now, seventy years after the creation of the self-regulatory body Comics Code Authority, the infamous comics company is blasting out of the crypt and returning with a brand new line of comics. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


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.

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of crypt was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near crypt

Cite this Entry

“Crypt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an underground chamber
also : a chamber for burial

Medical Definition


: an anatomical pit, depression, or invagination
a developing tooth in its bony crypt
see tonsillar crypt
: a simple tubular gland (as a crypt of Lieberkühn)

More from Merriam-Webster on crypt

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