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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A place, especially a funeral home, where dead bodies are kept before burial or cremation.
  • adj. Of or relating to burial practices.
  • adj. Relating to or characteristic of death.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of, or relating to death or a funeral; funereal
  • n. a place where dead bodies are stored prior to burial or cremation
  • n. a morgue

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sort of ecclesiastical heriot, a customary gift claimed by, and due to, the minister of a parish on the death of a parishioner. It seems to have been originally a voluntary bequest or donation, intended to make amends for any failure in the payment of tithes of which the deceased had been guilty.
  • n. A burial place; a place for the dead.
  • n. A place for the reception of the dead before burial; a deadhouse; a morgue.
  • n. A funeral home.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the dead.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to the burial of the dead.
  • n. In law, a sort of ecclesiastical heriot, a customary gift claimed by and due to the minister of a parish on the death of a parishioner.
  • n. A burial-place.
  • n. A place for the temporary reception of the dead; a dead-house.
  • n. A memorial of the death of some beloved or revered person; especially, in the seventeenth century, a sword bearing some emblem of the wearer's devotion to the memory of Charles I. and the cause of royalty.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to or characteristic of death
  • adj. of or relating to a funeral
  • n. a building (or room) where dead bodies are kept before burial or cremation

Etymologies

Middle English mortuarie, gift to a parish priest from the estate of the deceased, funeral service, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin mortuārium, receptacle for dead things, neuter of mortuārius, of the dead, from mortuus, dead, past participle of morī, to die; see mer- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman mortuarie ("gift to a parish priest from a deceased parishioner"), from Medieval Latin mortuārium ("receptacle for the dead; mortuary"), neuter form of mortuārius ("of or pertaining to the dead"), from Latin mortuus, perfect passive participle of morior ("I die"). (Wiktionary)

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