April 11th, 2021

words 6

Sunday Word: Sepulchral

sepulchral [suh-puhl-kruhl]

1 of, relating to, or serving as a tomb or sepulchre
2 of or relating to burial.
3 proper to or suggestive of a tomb; funereal or dismal.
4 hollow and deep:


Detractors of Lincoln Center have compared the place to a mausoleum, but the absence of artists—and audiences—has made its hulking marble structures particularly sepulchral. (Michael Schulman, How New York City Ballet Took On the Pandemic, The New Yorker, October 2020)

The architect, who was responsible for the Bank of England, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Pitzhanger Manor and many other significant commissions, made his own home a strange and delirious living museum of the dead, with a 'sepulchral chamber' in the cellar containing a sarcophagus, statues of the dead, paintings of ruins. (Chris Waywell, London’s most magical and eccentric house reopens to the public this week, TimeOut, September 2020)

He declared that I was 'breaking the Lord's fourth commandment,' and proceeded to enumerate, in a sepulchral tone, the disasters which had befallen him whenever he had done any ordinary work on the Sabbath. (Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)

You come to the trenches out of strangely wasted lands, you come perhaps to a wood in an agony of contortions, black, branchless, sepulchral trees, and then no more trees at all. (Lord Dunsany, Tales of War)


1610s, 'pertaining to a burial or place of burial,' from Latin sepulcralis 'of a tomb, sepulchral,' from sepulcrum + -al. Transferred sense of 'gloomy' is from 1711. (Online Etymology Dictionary)