Etymology
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tomb (n.)
c. 1200, tumbe, early 14c. tomb, from Anglo-French tumbe and directly from Old French tombe "tomb, monument, tombstone" (12c.), from Late Latin tumba (also source of Italian tomba, Spanish tumba), from Greek tymbos "mound, burial mound," generally "grave, tomb."

Watkins suggests it is perhaps from PIE root *teue- "to swell," but Beekes writes that it is probably a Pre-Greek (non-IE) word. He writes that Latin tumulus "earth-hill" and Armenian t'umb "landfill, earthen wall" "may contain the same Pre-Greek/Mediterranean word," and suggests further connections to Middle Irish tomm "small hill," Middle Welsh tom "dung, mound."

The final -b began to be silent about the time of the spelling shift (compare lamb, dumb). Modern French tombeau is from Vulgar Latin diminutive *tumbellus. The Tombs, slang for "New York City prison" is recorded from 1840.
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tombolo (n.)
sand-bar joining an island to the mainland, 1899, from Italian tombolo "sand dune," from Latin tumulus "hillock, mound, heap of earth" (see tomb).
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tumulus (n.)
ancient burial mound, 1680s, from Latin tumulus "hillock, heap of earth, mound" (see tomb).
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entomb (v.)

"to place in a tomb, bury, inter," 1570s, from Old French entomber "place in a tomb," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + tombe "tomb" (see tomb). Related: Entombed; entombing. The earlier verb was simply tomb (c. 1300).

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tombstone (n.)
1560s, originally the flat stone atop a grave (or the lid of a stone coffin); from tomb + stone (n.). Meaning "gravestone, headstone" is attested from 1711. The city in Arizona, U.S., said to have been named by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find there was his tombstone.
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catacomb (n.)

"underground burial place," usually catacombs, from Old English catacumbas, from Late Latin catacumbae (plural) "sepulchral vaults," originally the region of underground tombs between the 2nd and 3rd milestones of the Appian Way (where the bodies of apostles Paul and Peter, among others, were said to have been laid) near Rome; the word is of obscure origin, perhaps once a proper name, or dissimilation from Latin cata tumbas "at the graves," from cata- "among" + tumbas, accusative plural of tumba "tomb" (see tomb).

If so, the word perhaps was altered by influence of Latin -cumbere "to lie." From the same source are French catacombe, Italian catacomba, Spanish catacumba. Extended by 1836 in English to any subterranean receptacle of the dead (as in Paris). Related: Catacumbal.

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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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taphonomy (n.)

"study of the means by which the remains of living beings become fossils," 1940, with -nomy
+ Greek taphos "tomb, burial, funeral," 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: Taphonomic.

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sepulchral (adj.)
1610s, "pertaining to a burial or place of burial," from Latin sepulcralis "of a tomb, sepulchral," from sepulcrum (see sepulchre) + -al (1). Transferred sense of "gloomy" is from 1711. Related: Sepulchrally.
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sepulchre (n.)
also sepulcher, c. 1200, "tomb, burial place," especially the cave where Jesus was buried outside Jerusalem (Holy Sepulcher or Saint Sepulcher), from Old French sepulcre "tomb; the Holy Sepulchre" (11c.), from Latin sepulcrum "grave, tomb, place where a corpse is buried," from root of sepelire "to bury, embalm," originally "to perform rituals on a corpse," from PIE *sep-el-yo-, suffixed form of root *sep- (2) "to handle (skillfully), to hold (reverently);" source also of Sanskrit saparyati "honors." No reason for the -ch- spelling, which dates to 13c. Whited sepulchre "hypocrite" is from Matthew xxiii.27.
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