Etymology
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pew (n.)

late 14c., peue, "raised, bench-like seat for certain worshipers" (ladies, important men, etc.), frequently enclosed, from Old French puie, puy "balcony, elevated place or seat; elevation, hill, mound," from Latin podia, plural of podium "elevated place," also "front balcony in a Roman theater" (where distinguished persons sat; see podium). Meaning "fixed bench with a back, for a number of worshipers" is attested from 1630s. Related: Pewholder; pew-rent.

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dike (n.)
Origin and meaning of dike

Old English dic "trench, ditch; an earthwork with a trench; moat, channel for water made by digging," from Proto-Germanic *dikaz (source also of Old Norse diki "ditch, fishpond," Old Frisian dik "dike, mound, dam," Middle Dutch dijc "mound, dam, pool," Dutch dijk "dam," German Deich "embankment"), from PIE root *dheigw- "to pierce; to fix, fasten." The sense evolution would be "to stick (a spade, etc.) in" the ground, thus, "to dig," thus "a hole or other product of digging."

This is the northern variant of the word that in the south of England yielded ditch (n.). At first "an excavation," later applied to the ridge or bank of earth thrown up in excavating a ditch or canal (late 15c.), a sense development paralleled by the cognate words in many languages, though naturally it occurred earlier in Dutch and Frisian. From 1630s specifically as "ridge or bank of earth to prevent lowlands from being flooded." In geology, "vertical fissure in rocks filled with later material which made its way in while molten" (1835).

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talus (n.2)
"slope," 1640s, from French talus (16c.), from Old French talu "slope, mound, small hill" (12c.), probably from Gallo-Roman *talutum, from Latin talutium "a slope or outcrop of rock debris," perhaps of Celtic origin (compare Welsh, Breton tal "forehead, brow").

OED, however, suggests derivation from root of talus (n.1) in the sense of "heel" which developed in its Romanic descendants. Mainly used of military earthwork at first; meaning "sloping mass of rocky fragments that has fallen from a cliff" is first recorded 1830.
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cremation (n.)

"act or custom of burning of the dead," 1620s, from Latin cremationem (nominative crematio), noun of action from past-participle stem of cremare "to burn, consume by fire" (also used of the dead), from PIE *krem-, extended form of root *ker- (3) "heat, fire."

The adoption of cremation would relieve us of a muck of threadbare burial-witticisms; but, on the other hand, it would resurrect a lot of mildewed old cremation-jokes that have had a rest for two thousand years. ["Mark Twain," "Life on the Mississippi," 1883]
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cenotaph (n.)

"empty tomb erected in honor of a dead person who is buried elsewhere or whose body is lost," c. 1600, from French cénotaphe (16c.), from Latin cenotaphium, from Greek kenotaphion, from kenos "empty" (see keno-) + taphos "tomb, burial, funeral," related to taphē  "interment," thaptō "to bury," which is of uncertain origin. It is traditionally derived (along with Armenian damban "tomb") from a PIE root *dhembh- "to dig, bury," but there are doubts, and Beekes writes, "Armenian and Greek could well be borrowings; IE origin is uncertain." Related: Cenotaphic.

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terrace (n.)

1510s, "gallery, portico, balcony," later "flat, raised place for walking" (1570s), from French terrace (Modern French terasse), from Old French terrasse (12c.) "platform (built on or supported by a mound of earth)," from Vulgar Latin *terracea, fem. of *terraceus "earthen, earthy," from Latin terra "earth, land" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry").

As a natural formation in geology, attested from 1670s. In street names, originally in reference to a row of houses along the top of a slope, but lately applied arbitrarily as a fancy name for an ordinary road. As a verb from 1610s, "to form into a terrace." Related: Terraced.

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mausoleum (n.)

"magnificent tomb," early 15c., from Latin mausoleum, from Greek Mausoleion, name of the massive marble tomb adorned with sculpture built 353 B.C.E. at Halicarnassus (Greek city in Asia Minor) for Mausolos, Persian satrap who made himself king of Caria. It was built by his wife (and sister), Artemisia. Counted among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, it was destroyed by an earthquake in the Middle Ages. General sense of "any stately burial-place" (now usually one designed to contain a number of tombs) is from c. 1600. Related: Mausolean.

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sepulchre (n.)

also sepulcher, c. 1200, sepulcre, "tomb, burial place," especially the cave where Jesus was buried outside Jerusalem (Holy Sepulcher or Saint Sepulcher), from Old French sepulcre, sepulchre, "tomb; the Holy Sepulchre" (11c.), from Latin sepulcrum (also, erroneously, sepulchrum) "grave, tomb, place where a corpse is buried," from root of sepelire "to bury, embalm," originally "to perform rituals on a corpse."

This is held to be from PIE *sepel-io- "to honor," with a cognate in Sanskrit saparyati "to honor, worship." Whited sepulchre "hypocrite" is from Matthew xxiii.27.

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shroud (n.)
Old English scrud "a garment, clothing, dress," from West Germanic *skruthan, from Proto-Germanic *skrud- "cut" (source also of Old Norse skruð "shrouds of a ship, tackle, gear; furniture of a church," Danish, Swedish skrud "dress, attire"), from PIE *skreu- "to cut" (see shred (n.)).

Specific meaning "winding-sheet, cloth or sheet for burial," to which the word now is restricted, first attested 1560s. Sense of "strong rope supporting the mast of a ship" (mid-15c.) is from the notion of "clothing" a spar or mast; one without rigging was said to be naked.
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