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See also: crypt- and -crypt


Mary Todd Lincoln's crypt


From Latin crypta (vault), from Ancient Greek κρυπτός (kruptós, hidden). Doublet of grotto.


  • IPA(key): /kɹɪpt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪpt


crypt (plural crypts)

  1. (now rare) A cave or cavern. [from 15th c.]
  2. An underground vault, especially one beneath a church that is used as a burial place. [from 16th c.]
    Hypernym: vault
    Holonyms: catacomb, cuniculus
    Coordinate terms: charnel house, mausoleum, ossuary
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/2/1”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days[1]:
      She turned and waved a hand to him, she cried a word, but he didn't hear it, it was a lost word. A sable wraith she was in the parkland, fading away into the dolorous crypt of winter.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 106:
      On its arrival at Bank, incidentally, the City & South London's directors had threatened to demolish the church of St Mary Woolnoth, but after a public outcry the company built its station in the crypt of the church, the bodies being transferred [...]. Therefore St Mary Woolnoth doesn't have a crypt. Or you could say that its crypt is Bank station.
  3. (anatomy) A small pit or cavity in the surface of an organ or other structure. [from 19th c.]
    • 2015, Giulia Enders, translated by David Shaw, Gut, Scribe, published 2016, page 25:
      Sometimes, too much foreign material can get caught in the crypts, leading to frequent infections.
  4. (botany) Any of the genus Cryptocoryne of aquatic plants of southern and southeastern Asia.
  5. (botany) Any of the genus Cryptopus of orchids of Madagascar and Mauritius.

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