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

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 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 Coins, ceramic fragments, ossuaries and stone slabs bear inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Samaritan, illustrating the kaleidoscopic variety of cultures present in the Holy Land during the first centuries. Fox News, "Franciscan museum in Jerusalem shows life in Jesus' time," 7 July 2018 Many deposit the remains in a nearby ossuary, which houses 80,000 skeletons. The Economist, "Cuba’s funerals: cheap and especially uncheerful," 28 June 2018 The inspiration is an ossuary, the crypts of the cardinals, of the monks in the 15th century, and the precious decorations. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "9 References to Death in Gucci’s Cruise Show," 31 May 2018 Or bones can be deposited into the cemetery’s common ossuary. New York Times, "A Chance to Spend 99-Plus Years in Venice (in the Afterlife)," 21 May 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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Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for ossuary

The first known use of ossuary was in 1658

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