from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. A group of hymenopterous insects including the sand wasps. They excavate cells in earth, where they deposit their eggs, with the bodies of other insects for the food of the young when hatched.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In entom.: In Latreille's system of classification, the second family of aculeate hymenopterous insects. It was divided into Scolietes, Sapygites, Sphegites, Bembecides, Larrates, Nyssoniens, and Crabrionites, and was nearly equivalent to the modern Fossores, not including the family Mutillidæ.
- n. The digger-wasps; the Fossoria. It is a group of burrowing hymenopterous insects having the posterior abdominal segments not retractile and the basal joint of the hind tarsi not dilated. The females are armed with a sting, and the neuters, when there are any, are winged. The group includes such families as the Vespidæ, Sphegidæ, Pompilidæ, etc., together with the Mutillidæ,.
- n. A Latreillean group of fossorial caraboid beetles, the Bipartiti or Scaritides.
- n. In mammalogy, a group of burrowing or fossorial quadrupeds.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The guardianship of the catacombs was confided to a certain body of the clergy, who went under the name of _fossores_, or grave-diggers.
Thus in the first centuries there figured in the ranks of the clergy notaries, defensores ecclesiae, oeconomi, catechists, cantors, fossores (for the cemeteries), etc., to say nothing of deaconesses.
Readers were blessed and set apart, as were the fossores who dug graves, the notarii who kept registers, and widows.
Besides the psalmista or cantor, several other functionaries seem to have been recognized as holding orders, e.g., fossarii (fossores) grave diggers, hermeneutoe
In Christian antiquity, it is true, especially among the Greek Christians, we meet with many subordinate functionaries, e.g. singers ( "cantores", or "confessores"); "parabolani", who cared for the sick; "copiatæ" (fossores), or sextons who buried the dead;
Priests are frequently mentioned, and reference is often made to deacons, subdeacons, exorcists, lectors, acolytes, fossores or grave-diggers, alumni or adopted children.
The minutes of the search at Cirta, which we have already cited, were read and witnesses were called to establish their accuracy, including two of the fossores then present and a lector, Victor the grammarian.
Having arrived with his satellites at the bishop's house -- in Numidia the searching was more severe than in Proconsular Africa -- the bishop was found with four priests, three deacons, four subdeacons, and several fossores (diggers).
Christians felt themselves secure in the catacombs, yet the laying out of the galleries, the burying of the bodies, the odour of decay, and the pestilential air in summer, made the lives of the fossores, or excavators, one of the greatest self-sacrifice, while visiting the graves of the departed became much more difficult for the surviving members of families.
Some of the loculi were closed with tiles, others with pagan inscriptions which the _fossores_ had found by chance in tunnelling their way into the crypt.