ossuary

noun
os·​su·​ary | \ ˈä-shə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce ossuary (audio) , -syə-, -sə- \
plural ossuaries

Definition of ossuary

: a depository for the bones of the dead

Examples of ossuary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The largest ossuary in the world is the network of catacombs beneath Paris, which reportedly house the bones of approximately six million people. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Just a Wall of Human Bones in a Cathedral's Basement," 29 Feb. 2020 In the 19th century, many churches again emptied their cemeteries and added even more skulls to this vast ossuary. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Lesser-known bones: Rick Steves' guide to Europe’s most offbeat crypts and cemeteries," 13 Nov. 2019 In the 19th century, many churches again emptied their cemeteries and added even more skulls to this vast ossuary. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Lesser-known bones: Rick Steves' guide to Europe’s most offbeat crypts and cemeteries," 13 Nov. 2019 In the 19th century, many churches again emptied their cemeteries and added even more skulls to this vast ossuary. Rick Steves, chicagotribune.com, "Europe’s dead still speak to the living," 25 Oct. 2019 The bones were then collected and often placed in stone boxes, known as ossuaries, inside the cave chamber. Washington Post, "Massive modern catacombs set to open in Jerusalem," 29 Aug. 2019 Gisotti said last week that investigators had located two ossuaries – small chambers where the bones of dead people are placed – under a stone slab manhole covering inside the Teutonic college itself. Fox News, "Expert says Vatican space holds bones of dozens amid bid to solve girl’s 1983 disappearance," 20 July 2019 The Liberal Democrats had been consigned to the electoral ossuary as recently as last winter, limping along at around 8 percent in most opinion polls, and discussing bringing in a celebrity leader to raise the party’s profile. Parker Richards, The New Republic, "The Woman Who Could Beat Boris Johnson," 29 July 2019 Photo: massimo percossi/epa-efe/rex/Shutterstock Morning light shines on a French soldier's tombstone at the cemetery outside Douaumont ossuary, a World War I memorial near Verdun, France, on Nov. 7. WSJ, "Europe Marks 100th Anniversary of the End of World War I," 11 Nov. 2018

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

1658, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ossuary

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

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Time Traveler for ossuary

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The first known use of ossuary was in 1658

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Cite this Entry

“Ossuary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ossuary. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on ossuary

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ossuary

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