os·​su·​ary ˈä-shə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce ossuary (audio)
plural ossuaries
: a depository for the bones of the dead

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Among them is the ossuary where six million Parisians find their resting place. Ingrid Rojas Contreras, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2023 The forest is also the site of several memorials, including a cemetery with over 16,000 graves and an ossuary filled with the remains of soldiers on both sides of the battle. Katherine Kornei, Discover Magazine, 7 May 2018 It will be returned to the Catacombs Museum in Paris, to join the collections of the ossuary, DHS said. CBS News, 4 Mar. 2022 The ruins include an ossuary holding the bones of nearly 100 people, and archaeologists have been excavating those remains since 2016. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2022 The site, known as an ossuary, is the largest in the world, containing the bones of more than six million Parisians. CBS News, 4 Mar. 2022 Enlarge / Selection of flint lithic tools from the El Pendón ossuary: blades, geometric microliths, and arrowheads. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2022 The extraordinarily high flames, propelled by strong winds from the south, reached the village’s homes and burned to ashes everything standing in between, including the cemetery’s ossuary. Gaia Pianigiani, New York Times, 22 Aug. 2021 In 1973, an ossuary dating back to the 1st century AD was recovered. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 16 May 2021 See More

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

Word History


Late Latin ossuarium, from Latin, neuter of ossuarius of bones, from Old Latin ossua, plural of oss-, os

First Known Use

1658, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ossuary was in 1658

Dictionary Entries Near ossuary

Cite this Entry

“Ossuary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ossuary. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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