hy·​po·​ge·​um ˌhī-pə-ˈjē-əm How to pronounce hypogeum (audio)
plural hypogea ˌhī-pə-ˈjē-ə How to pronounce hypogeum (audio)
: the subterranean part of an ancient building
also : an ancient underground burial chamber

Examples of hypogeum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One of the main reasons the hypogeum has survived so well is because of its lack of natural light, which encourages the growth of biological organisms. Julia Buckley, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Jan. 2022 Though experts have finished restoring the hypogeum, officials still plan to renovate other parts of the arena’s structure. Isis Davis-Marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 June 2021 The hypogeum, meanwhile, was eventually filled with dirt and rubble. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Dec. 2020 The Lego Roman Colosseum is three stories tall and that doesn’t include the recreation of the hypogeum, the subterranean chamber beneath the arena floor. Jonathan Bender, NBC News, 18 Nov. 2020 Inside the Roman Forum new exciting archaeological discovery: a hypogeum with a tuff sarcophagus from the 6th century BC. Fox News, 19 Feb. 2020 Silvio Berlusconi constructed an enormous mausoleum at his home in Arcore, near Milan, in 1994: the imitation hypogeum, fit for an Etruscan prince, includes carved niches and objects a media tycoon may wish to take into the next life. E.o’k. | Lazio, The Economist, 20 Aug. 2019 An interior view of the Colosseum's hypogeum after the restoration. Simon Dumenco, ELLE Decor, 6 July 2016 On most evenings, CoopCulture will run 75-minute tours, taking you through the main floor of the arena and to check out the underground space, known as the hypogeum, where gladiators waited before entering for battle. Jordi Lippe-McGraw, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hypogeum.' 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 hypogēum, hypogaeum "underground chamber," borrowed from Greek hypógeion, hypógaion, noun derivative from neuter of hypógeios, hypógaios "underground, subterranean" — more at hypogeal

First Known Use

circa 1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypogeum was circa 1706

Dictionary Entries Near hypogeum

Cite this Entry

“Hypogeum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypogeum. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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