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

  • n. An ancient grave mound; a barrow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mound of earth, especially one placed over a prehistoric tomb; a barrow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An artificial hillock, especially one raised over a grave, particularly over the graves of persons buried in ancient times; a barrow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sepulchral mound, as the famous Mound of Marathon raised over the bodies of those Athenians who fell in repelling the invading Persians; a barrow; very frequently, a mound covering and inclosing a more or less elaborate structure of masonry.

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

  • n. (archeology) a heap of earth placed over prehistoric tombs


Latin; see teuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tumulus ("mound, hill"), from tumeō ("I swell"). (Wiktionary)



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  • ". . .a fairly lowly position but which had its own distinction, won by Hassan on account of his polymathic study of an almost unknown tumulus (and nobody who did know it could work out its import) from an oppidum civium romanorum which a scholar from Munich, a Judaist in flight from Austria's Anschluss, had found in diggings at Thugga (or, as it's nowadays known, Dougga)." Gilbert Adair translation of Georges Perec's La Disparition

    August 11, 2010

  • from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

    July 19, 2009

  • "And as no man knows the ubicity of his tumulus nor to what processes we shall thereby be ushered ..."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 14

    January 20, 2007