sarcophagus

sarcophagus
[17] A sarcophagus is etymologically a ‘flesh-eater’: the word comes via Latin sarcophagus from Greek sarkophágos, a compound formed from sárx ‘flesh’ (source of English sarcasm) and -phágos ‘eating’. This originated as the term for a particular type of limestone that in the ancient world was used for making coffins, since bodies buried in them quickly decomposed. By extension it came to be used for the coffins themselves. => SARCASM

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • SARCOPHAGUS — in Inscr. veter. apud Gruterum p. 689. L. Iulii Marcelli, qui vixisle dicitur ann. 5. diebus 31. Corpus. integrum. conditum. Sarcophago. et apud Iuvenalem Sat. 10. v. 172. ubi de Alexandro, Qui figulo postquam munito intraverit urbem, Sarcophago… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Sarcophagus — Sar*coph a*gus, n.; pl. L. {Sarcophagi}, E. {Sarcophaguses}. [L., fr. Gr. sarkofa gos, properly, eating flesh; sa rx, sa rkos, flesh + fagei^n to eat. Cf. {Sarcasm}.] 1. A species of limestone used among the Greeks for making coffins, which was… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sarcophagus — stone coffin, c.1600, from L. sarcophagus, from Gk. sarkophagos limestone used for coffins, lit. flesh eating, in reference to the supposed action of this type of limestone (quarried near Assos in Troas) in quickly decomposing the body, from sarx …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sarcophăgus — (v. gr.), so v.w. Sarkophagos …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • sarcophagus — ► NOUN (pl. sarcophagi) ▪ a stone coffin. ORIGIN Latin, from Greek sarkophagos flesh consuming …   English terms dictionary

  • sarcophagus — [sär käf′ə gəs] n. pl. sarcophagi [sär käf′əjī΄] or sarcophaguses [L < Gr sarkophagos < sarx, flesh (see SARCASM) + phagein, to eat (see PHAGOUS): because the limestone caused rapid disintegration of the contents] 1. among the ancient… …   English World dictionary

  • Sarcophagus — A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word sarcophagus comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning flesh , and φαγειν phagein meaning to eat , hence sarkophagus means flesh eating ; from the… …   Wikipedia

  • sarcophagus — sar·coph·a·gus (sär kŏf’ə gəs) n. pl. sar·coph·a·gi ( jī′) or sar·coph·a·gus·es ▸ A stone coffin, often inscribed or decorated with sculpture. ╂ [Latin, from Greek sarkophagos, coffin, from (lithos) sarkophagos, limestone that consumed the flesh… …   Word Histories

  • sarcophagus — [[t]sɑː(r)kɒ̱fəgəs[/t]] sarcophagi, sarcophaguses (plural) N COUNT A sarcophagus is a large decorative container in which a dead body was placed in ancient times. ...an Egyptian sarcophagus. Syn: casket …   English dictionary

  • sarcophagus — UK [sɑː(r)ˈkɒfəɡəs] / US [sɑrˈkɑfəɡəs] noun [countable] Word forms sarcophagus : singular sarcophagus plural sarcophaguses or sarcophagi a stone box, used in some ancient cultures for putting a dead body in …   English dictionary

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