necropolis

noun
ne·​crop·​o·​lis | \ nə-ˈkrä-pə-ləs How to pronounce necropolis (audio) , ne- \
plural necropolises or necropoles\ nə-​ˈkrä-​pə-​ˌlēz How to pronounce necropoles (audio) , ne-​ \ or necropoleis\ nə-​ˈkrä-​pə-​ˌlās How to pronounce necropoleis (audio) , ne-​ \ or necropoli\ nə-​ˈkrä-​pə-​ˌlī How to pronounce necropoli (audio) , -​ˌlē , ne-​ \

Definition of necropolis

: cemetery especially : a large elaborate cemetery of an ancient city

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Did You Know?

With its -polis ending, meaning "city", a necropolis is a "city of the dead". Most of the famous necropolises of Egypt line the Nile River across from their cities. In ancient Greece and Rome, a necropolis would often line the road leading out of a city; in the 1940s a great Roman necropolis was discovered under the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica. Some more recent cemeteries especially deserve the name necropolis because they resemble cities of aboveground tombs, a necessity in low-lying areas such as New Orleans where a high water table prevents underground burial.

Examples of necropolis in a Sentence

Archaeologists uncovered a necropolis of ancient Rome. an ancient necropolis that has given archaeologists valuable insights into how people once lived and died
Recent Examples on the Web Also in 2019, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. Fox News, "Cleopatra mystery: Archaeologists eye ancient site for queen’s long-lost tomb," 10 June 2020 Also in 2019, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. Fox News, "Cleopatra mystery: Archaeologists eye ancient site for queen’s long-lost tomb," 10 June 2020 Also in 2019, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. Fox News, "Cleopatra mystery: Archaeologists eye ancient site for queen’s long-lost tomb," 10 June 2020 Also in 2019, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. Fox News, "Cleopatra mystery: Archaeologists eye ancient site for queen’s long-lost tomb," 10 June 2020 Also in 2019, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. Fox News, "Cleopatra mystery: Archaeologists eye ancient site for queen’s long-lost tomb," 10 June 2020 Nearly four hundred murders between 1993 and 2005 left the city with an enduring reputation as a dark necropolis, a land of pink crosses in the desert. Seth Harp, Harper's Magazine, "In Harm’s Way," 27 Apr. 2020 The deepest and longest tomb in the necropolis, the resting place of Seti I is adorned with astonishing reliefs. Michelle Green, New York Times, "A Nile Journey Guided by 19th-Century Women," 11 Nov. 2019 Also in 2019, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. Fox News, "3,600-year teenage mummy discovered in Egypt," 1 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'necropolis.' 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 necropolis

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for necropolis

borrowed from Late Latin, "cemetery," borrowed from Greek Nekrópolis, literally, "city of the dead," name of a large cemetery in a suburb of ancient Alexandria, from nekro- necro- + -polis -polis

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Time Traveler for necropolis

Time Traveler

The first known use of necropolis was in 1819

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Statistics for necropolis

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Necropolis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/necropolis. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for necropolis

necropolis

noun
How to pronounce necropolis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of necropolis

formal : a large cemetery especially of an ancient city

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More from Merriam-Webster on necropolis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for necropolis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with necropolis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about necropolis

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