Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A vase of varying size and shape, usually having a footed base or pedestal.
  • noun A closed metal vessel having a spigot and used for warming or serving tea or coffee.
  • noun Botany The spore-bearing part of a moss capsule.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To inclose in an urn, or as in an urn; inurn.
  • noun A kind of vase, usually rather large, having an oviform or rounded body with a foot; by extension (since the ashes of the dead were formerly put into such vessels), any receptacle for the dead body or its remains.
  • noun A place of burial; a grave.
  • noun A Roman measure for liquids, containing one half the amphora.
  • noun A tea-urn.
  • noun In botany, the hollow vessel in which the spores of mosses are produced; the sporogonium or spore-case; the theca. See cut under moss.
  • noun In the Dicyemida, specifically, a cup-like part of the infusoriform embryo of a rhombogenous dicyemid, consisting of a capsule, a lid, and contents. See Dicyemida, and cut under Dicyema.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To inclose in, or as in, an urn; to inurn.
  • noun A vessel of various forms, usually a vase furnished with a foot or pedestal, employed for different purposes, as for holding liquids, for ornamental uses, for preserving the ashes of the dead after cremation, and anciently for holding lots to be drawn.
  • noun Fig.: Any place of burial; the grave.
  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A measure of capacity for liquids, containing about three gallons and a haft, wine measure. It was haft the amphora, and four times the congius.
  • noun (Bot.) A hollow body shaped like an urn, in which the spores of mosses are contained; a spore case; a theca.
  • noun A tea urn. See under Tea.
  • noun (Bot.) the order of true mosses; -- so called because the capsules of many kinds are urn-shaped.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a vase with a footed base
  • noun a metal vessel for serving tea or coffee
  • noun a vessel for ashes or cremains of a deceased person

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

  • noun a large vase that usually has a pedestal or feet
  • noun a large pot for making coffee or tea

Etymologies

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

[Middle English urne, from Latin urna.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin urna ("vessel").

Examples

  • The focal point of the urn is a two-headed águila or eagle.

    Uncovering Tonala's history at the National Ceramic Museum

  • The focal point of the urn is a two-headed águila or eagle.

    Uncovering Tonala's history at the National Ceramic Museum

  • An exemplary teacher of Negative Capability (a concept one can hardly resist teaching in conjunction with this poem), the urn is also the incarnation of Art, of aesthetic value determined not by its social location but by its power to dissolve all such determinations.

    Ode on a Grecian Urn

  • While the urn is an object among others, an artifact with its own material and cultural history, it does not address the viewer in the same way as an object in a shop window.

    Ode on a Grecian Urn

  • But the trope can be dismissed as a "trivial goal" -- indeed, as a "goal" at all -- only if you assume that the urn is well-wrought because it successfully attains a level of "beauty" that conforms to pre-established formal requirements.

    Only Change and No Urns?

  • But the trope can be dismissed as a "trivial goal" -- indeed, as a "goal" at all -- only if you assume that the urn is well-wrought because it successfully attains a level of "beauty" that conforms to pre-established formal requirements.

    Principles of Literary Criticism

  • But the trope can be dismissed as a "trivial goal" -- indeed, as a "goal" at all -- only if you assume that the urn is well-wrought because it successfully attains a level of "beauty" that conforms to pre-established formal requirements.

    March 2010

  • The urn is not an object; it is deformed in that it is only its illustrations, its meanings.

    Deforming Keat's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'

  • Or, as Jessica wrote after rearranging the poem so that all rhyming lines were together, "the thing [urn] is gone, and now there is a poem which is slowly growing incomprehensible"

    Deforming Keat's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'

  • The urn is not an urn at all, but a clue to an allegorical or narrative (usually biographical but sometimes more broadly historical) level.

    Three or Four Ways of Looking at an Urn

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