A vault with niches for urns containing ashes of the dead.(noun)
One of the niches in such a vault.(noun)
A pigeonhole in a dovecote.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "columbarium" in a sentence
"The funerary vault, or Monumentum Liviae, contained the cremated remains of more than a thousand Roman slaves and freedmen, their ashes packed in row upon row of ollae burial jars stacked in tiny niches around the vault, like pigeonholes; hence the name columbarium, meaning “dovecote.”"
"If a tomb was fitted up to contain many funeral ash-urns, it was known as a columbarium, or dove-cote (_columba_, a dove), the ashes of the freedmen and even slaves being placed in niches covered by lids and bearing inscriptions."
"A door in the wall, on the left of the approach to the grotto, and a very steep staircase, lead to the columbarium, which is situated in a pretty fruit-garden."