\ 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 Italy, dictator Benito Mussolini's crypt in the town of Predappio has seen annual pilgrimages by the far-right, just as far-right activists in Spain were drawn to the mausoleum of Francisco Franco before his remains were moved last year. Tim Lister, CNN, "Cathartic acts of rage, or the rewriting of history? How statues became political lightning rods," 14 June 2020 That includes one worker at Washington National Cathedral, who found 5,000 unopened N95 masks in the crypt of the historic church. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Someone Who Isn't Nicolas Cage Found Respirator Masks in the Crypt of Washington National Cathedral," 25 Mar. 2020 Very steady, low-humidity environment down in the crypt there. New York Times, "National Cathedral, Nasdaq, Businesses and Unions Locate Troves of N95 Masks," 26 Mar. 2020 Americans have scoured work sites and storage closets to find unused masks to donate - including Washington National Cathedral, which located 5,000 unused respirators in a church crypt. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside America’s mask crunch: A slow government reaction and an industry wary of liability," 3 Apr. 2020 After his death in Atlanta in 2006, Brown's remains were apparently placed in a crypt outside the home of his daughter Deanna Brown Thomas near Aiken, South Carolina. Thomas Lake, CNN, "James Brown's lawyer breaks silence as DA weighs potential death investigation," 3 Mar. 2020 The cathedral, which describes itself as the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, said on Monday that its 600-foot-long nave and equally large subterranean crypt would be turned into an emergency hospital as part of the fight against the pandemic. Liam Stack, New York Times, "Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Including Crypt, Will Become a Hospital," 6 Apr. 2020 In 2010, another daughter alleged that the crypt was empty. Thomas Lake, CNN, "James Brown's lawyer breaks silence as DA weighs potential death investigation," 3 Mar. 2020 Donnie’s crypt is a short distance (in beautiful Fort Snelling Cemetery) from his father, Donald, who passed away in 2014. Sainted & Tainted Writers, Twin Cities, "Sainted & Tainted: ‘All we can say is, God bless our V.A.!’," 9 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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Statistics for crypt

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crypt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 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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