\ 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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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 And what do mummified corpses in a crypt teach us about death? Tom Teicholz, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 On Tuesday, former suburban tech CEO Bradley Rukstales become the first Illinoisan to be convicted for his part in the riot, pleading guilty to being part of a mob that confronted police in the Capitol’s crypt, a circular room beneath the rotunda. Jason Meisner,, 2 Sep. 2021 Hefner, who died in 2017, previously spoke about his $75,000 purchase of the crypt next to Monroe, who died in 1962. Naledi Ushe,, 18 Aug. 2021 After a quick Google search, Ben discovered that the marks were actually the place where botflies — which were housed both in the box and the crypt where the corpse was being held before it was moved upstairs — burrowed into people's bodies. Chancellor Agard,, 29 Aug. 2021 Elizabeth decided to put the crypt up for auction on eBay starting at $500,000 due to financial hardship and reached a final bid of $4.6 million. Naledi Ushe,, 18 Aug. 2021 The bid ultimately fell through and the crypt is still the resting place for the Poncher's, according to NPR. Naledi Ushe,, 18 Aug. 2021 The caves are cut from soft sandstone rock and their narrow doorways and windows resemble Saxon architecture, while a rock-cut pillar is similar to one found in a nearby Saxon crypt. Jack Guy, CNN, 14 July 2021 In 1935, several pothunters cracked into a mound of earth in Oklahoma and unearthed a Native American burial crypt. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, Washington Post, 8 July 2021

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

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crypt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on crypt

Nglish: Translation of crypt for Spanish Speakers

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


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