From Latin tumulus (mound, hill), from tumeō (I swell). Doublet of tombolo.



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tumulus (plural tumuli)

  1. (archaeology) A mound of earth, especially one placed over a prehistoric tomb; a barrow.
    • 1826, Mary Shelley, The Last Man, part 2, chapter 1:
      They planted the cannon on the tumuli, sole elevations in this level country, and formed themselves into column and hollow square.
    • 1898, Ernest Rhys, “The Lament for Urien from the Herbest”, in Welsh Ballads:
      The delicate white body will be covered to-day,
      The tumulus be reared, the green sod give way:
      And there, oh Cynvarch, thy son they will lay.
    • 2004, Douglas Keister, Stories in Stone, Gibbs Smith, →ISBN, OCLC 53045242, page 14:
      The tumulus is one of mankind's oldest burial monuments, dating back to 4,000 to 5,000 years B.C. [] Examples of tumuli can be seen peppering the landscape all over Western Europe.


Derived termsEdit




From tumeō (I swell). Cognates include Ancient Greek τύμβος (túmbos, swell).



tumulus m (genitive tumulī); second declension

  1. A heap of earth, mound, hill, knoll, hillock.
  2. A barrow, grave, tumulus.


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative tumulus tumulī
Genitive tumulī tumulōrum
Dative tumulō tumulīs
Accusative tumulum tumulōs
Ablative tumulō tumulīs
Vocative tumule tumulī

Alternative formsEdit

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Related termsEdit



  • tumulus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • tumulus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • tumulus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • tumulus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • on the edge of the hill: ad extremum tumulum
  • tumulus in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[2]
  • tumulus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers