tu·​mu·​lus | \ ˈtü-myə-ləs How to pronounce tumulus (audio) , ˈtyü-, ˈtə- \
plural tumuli\ ˈtü-​myə-​ˌlī How to pronounce tumulus (audio) , -​ˌlē , ˈtyü-​ , ˈtə-​ \

Definition of tumulus

: an artificial hillock or mound (as over a grave) especially : an ancient grave : barrow

Examples of tumulus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nearby, the researchers found a 197- by 26-foot tumulus, or burial mound, and an extravagant array of Greek funerary goods likely left by merchants and mercenaries living in the area. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Aug. 2021 Another surprising discovery is a giant tumulus near the town of Amphipolis in northern Greece. National Geographic, 8 Apr. 2019 The pressure may have pushed that tumulus to sea level. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, 16 July 2018 The running theory is that the island was a submarine tumulus created when the pressure of slow-moving lava lifts the crust above it. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, 16 July 2018 Resembling an ancient burial mound known as a tumulus, Maropeng's entrance blends artfully with the grassland surroundings. Smithsonian, 27 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tumulus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tumulus

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tumulus

Middle English, from Latin; akin to Latin tumēre to swell — more at thumb entry 1

Learn More About tumulus

Time Traveler for tumulus

Time Traveler

The first known use of tumulus was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near tumulus




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tumulus

Cite this Entry

“Tumulus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumulus. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on tumulus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tumulus


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!