Definitions

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

  • n. A container or receptacle, such as an urn or a vault, for holding the bones of the dead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A container or receptacle, such as an urn or vault, for holding the bones of the dead.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place where the bones of the dead are deposited; a charnel house.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A place where the bones of the dead are deposited; a charnel-house.
  • n. A vase, casket, or other vessel for the reception of the bones or calcined remains of the dead.
  • n. A bone-cave, or deposit formed largely of bones, belonging to late geological times.

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

  • n. any receptacle for the burial of human bones

Etymologies

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

Late Latin ossuārium, from neuter of Latin ossuārius, of bones, from os, oss-, bone; see ost- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin ossuārium ("charnel house"), from ossuārius ("of or for bones"), from compound of Latin os ("bone") + adjectival suffix -ārius ("of, related to").

Examples

  • Another interesting note about the ossuary is that if you want to take photos, you have to pay an additional fee.

    Boing Boing: December 19, 2004 - December 25, 2004 Archives

  • It turns out that the ossuary is from the correct era, archaeologists say, but the Aramaic inscription on its side - "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" - was a relatively recent addition.

    Boing Boing: June 15, 2003 - June 21, 2003 Archives

  • An 'ossuary' is a stone box in which bones previously laid out in rock-cut tombs, such as those in the Gospels, were placed after they were retrieved by relatives or followers.

    Robert Eisenman: The James Ossuary: Is It Authentic? (An Update)

  • An ossuary is a small stone receptacle built to hold the bones of family members.

    God is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu …

  • The ossuary was a white building with its lower windows blacked out.

    The Warrior

  • Still others maintained that even if genuine we would never be able to prove that the “James son of Joseph” of the ossuary was the brother of Jesus of Nazareth since all three names were common in the period.

    The Jesus Dynasty

  • Now comes word from the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature that the ossuary might be authentic after all.

    The Rev. Chuck Currie:

  • Such a thing as this had never been known before: the ossuary was a sacred place, and had been left untouched for centuries.

    The Black Angel

  • "The last day," he continued, "we went to the ossuary, which is a big building - a glassed-in basement [that] has the bones of 100,000 men who were killed ... [who were] literally just laying rotting in the fields or blown apart from artillery."

    NPR Topics: News

  • The burial box, also called an ossuary, was discovered in 1990, but the inscription was just recently verified as legitimate and not the result of forgers trying to increase an artifact's value by Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University and Boaz Zissu of Bar Ilan University.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

Comments

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  • This word was also used in the book version of "The Name Of The Rose."

    June 24, 2012

  • The Lost Tomb of Jesus

    March 5, 2007