noun, verb (used with object), sep·ul·chred, sep·ul·chring. Chiefly British.
- a tomb, grave, or burial place.
- Also called Easter sepulcher. Ecclesiastical.
- a cavity in a mensa for containing relics of martyrs.
- a structure or a recess in some old churches in which the Eucharist was deposited with due ceremonies on Good Friday and taken out at Easter in commemoration of Christ’s entombment and Resurrection.
verb (used with object)
- to place in a sepulcher; bury.
- a burial vault, tomb, or grave
- Also called: Easter sepulchre a separate alcove in some medieval churches in which the Eucharistic elements were kept from Good Friday until the Easter ceremonies
- (tr) to bury in a sepulchre
n.also sepulcher, c.1200, “tomb, burial place,” especially the cave where Jesus was buried outside Jerusalem (Holy Sepulcher or Saint Sepulcher), from Old French sepulcre “tomb; the Holy Sepulchre” (11c.), from Latin sepulcrum “grave, tomb, place where a corpse is buried,” from root of sepelire “to bury, embalm,” originally “to perform rituals on a corpse,” from PIE *sep-el-yo-, suffixed form of root *sep- “to handle (skillfully), to hold (reverently);” cf. Sanskrit saparyati “honors.” No reason for the -ch- spelling, which dates to 13c. Whited sepulchre “hypocrite” is from Matt. xxiii.27.