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- an underground system of tunnels and chambers with recesses for graves, used (in former times) as a cemetery
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Cat"a*comb (?), n. [It.
catacomba, fr. L. catacumba perh. from Gr.
kata` downward, down + ky`mbh cavity.]
A cave, grotto, or subterraneous place of large extent used
for the burial of the dead; -- commonly in the plural.
&fist; The terms is supposed to have been applied originally
to the tombs under the church of St. Sebastian in Rome. The most
celebrated catacombs are those near Rome, on the Appian Way,
supposed to have been the place or refuge and interment of the
early Christians; those of Egypt, extending for a wide distance
in the vicinity of Cairo; and those of Paris, in abandoned stone
quarries, excavated under a large portion of the city.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
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