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From Latin columbārium.


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columbarium ‎(plural columbariums or columbaria)

  1. A large, sometimes architecturally impressive building for housing a large colony of pigeons or doves, particularly those of ancien regime France; a dovecote.
  2. A pigeonhole in such a dovecote.
  3. (by extension) A building, a vault or a similar place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns containing cremated remains
    • 1873, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and an unknown translator, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense, part 2:
      We have seen how it is originally language which works on the construction of concepts, a labor taken over in later ages by science. Just as the bee simultaneously constructs cells and fills them with honey, so science works unceasingly on this great columbarium of concepts, the graveyard of perceptions.
    • 2004, 2004, Douglas Keister, Stories in Stone (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith; ISBN 158685321X ; OCLC 53045242), page 13:
      The columbarium (vaults lined with recesses for cinerary urns) in the form of a grotto (a cave-like structure) is the centerpiece of the Elks plot.
  4. A niche in such a building for housing urns.


See also[edit]



Substantivization of columbārius ‎(pertaining to doves).



columbārium n ‎(genitive columbāriī); second declension

  1. dovecote
  2. (architecture) a hole for a horizontal member such as a joist or rafter; a gain or mortise
  3. a hole in the side of a waterwheel near its axle, where the water lifted by the wheel exits
  4. (nautical) an opening for oars in the side of a vessel
  5. (burial) an underground chamber for interring cremated remains, with niches for the urns of ashes


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative columbārium columbāria
genitive columbāriī columbāriōrum
dative columbāriō columbāriīs
accusative columbārium columbāria
ablative columbāriō columbāriīs
vocative columbārium columbāria


columbarium” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.