A sarcophagus (plural, sarcophagi; sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σάρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγεῖν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarcophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos (λίθος σαρκοφάγος). Since lithos is Greek for "stone", lithos sarcophagos means ,"flesh-eating stone". The word also came to refer to a particular kind of limestone that was thought to decompose the flesh of corpses trapped within it.
Sarcophagus (The Outer Limits)
"Sarcophagus" is an episode of The Outer Limits (new series) television show. It was first aired on August 7, 1998, during the fourth season.
A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse.
In modern times, Sarcophagus refers also to a cast bronze casket manufactured originally by the (now defunct) National Casket Co. and later by the York Casket Co., which still produces one of the designs. Cast bronze caskets are the rarest, most expensive and most heavy bronze caskets available. The auto magnate Henry Ford, e.g., was buried in a National Sarcophagus casket in 1947.
Sarcophagus may also refer to:
- Sarcophagus (Stargate), a fictional healing chamber in Stargate
- "Sarcophagus" (The Outer Limits), an episode of The Outer Limits
- Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus, the concrete structure erected around the remains of Reactor #4 in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant following the Chernobyl disaster
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
c.1600, "type of stone used for coffins," from Latin sarcophagus, from Greek sarkophagos "limestone used for coffins," literally "flesh-eating," in reference to the supposed action of this type of limestone (quarried near Assos in Troas, hence the Latin lapis Assius) in quickly decomposing the body, from sarx (genitive sarkos) "flesh" (see sarcasm) + phagein "to eat" (see -phagous). Related: Sarcophagal.\n
\nThe "stone" sense was the earliest in English; meaning "stone coffin, often with inscriptions or decorative carvings" is recorded from 1705. The Latin word, shortened in Vulgar Latin to *sarcus, is the source of French cercueil, German Sarg "coffin," Dutch zerk "tombstone."
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Sarcophagus \Sar*coph"a*gus\, n.; pl. L. Sarcophagi, E. Sarcophaguses. [L., fr. Gr. sarkofa`gos, properly, eating flesh; sa`rx, sa`rkos, flesh + fagei^n to eat. Cf. Sarcasm.]
A species of limestone used among the Greeks for making coffins, which was so called because it consumed within a few weeks the flesh of bodies deposited in it. It is otherwise called lapis Assius, or Assian stone, and is said to have been found at Assos, a city of Lycia.
A coffin or chest-shaped tomb of the kind of stone described above; hence, any stone coffin.
A stone shaped like a sarcophagus and placed by a grave as a memorial.
n. 1 A stone coffin, often inscribed or decorated with sculpture. 2 (context informal English) The cement and steel structure that encases the destroyed reactor at the power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
n. a stone coffin (usually bearing sculpture or inscriptions)
[also: sarcophagi (pl)]
Usage examples of "sarcophagus".
Little Henri Beyle breathed in the acrid fumes and gaped at the sarcophagus.
They painted or carved the walls with descriptive and symbolic scenes, and crowded their interiors with sarcophagi, cinerary urns, vases, goblets, mirrors, and a thousand other articles covered with paintings and sculptures rich in information of their authors.
Six hours later, before the internal fields switch on and the bodies begin to be repaired in their complex sarcophagi, even while the cabin is still in virtual vacuum, Nemes stands, shoulders two hundred gravities with no expression, and walks to the conference cubby and the plotting table.
Lord, what a sarcophagus I am, what a zany, what a gaby, what a doodle, what a dizzard, what a hoddy-doddy, what a tom-noddy, what a dunderpate, what a jobber-nowl, what a gowk!
Since it was a matter of record that the sarcophagus had been found empty by Vyse, it was once again assumed that the body of the pharaoh must have been removed by tomb robbers.
Tomb whose shadowy shaft sinks precipitously for fiftythree feet to a sinister sarcophagus which one of our camel drivers divested of the cumbering sand after a vertiginous descent by rope.
The sarcophagus on the left is that of his principal wife, Tou Wan, who predeceased him, and my ancestor sleeps on the right.
The sarcophagus was recessed in a niche, obscured from this oblique angle.
Attached to the lower hall of the Scuola is the Chapel of Santa Maria della Pace, in which the sarcophagus containing the bones of Marino Faliero was discovered in 1815.
The holographic tomb robbers, having trashed the burial chamber, were now approaching the open sarcophagus itself.
It was his creative work that he wished most to be remembered for: Here Was Buried THOMAS JEFFERSON Author of the Declaration of American Independence, Of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, And Father of the University of Virginia Adams had, however, composed an inscription to be carved into the sarcophagus lid of Henry Adams, the first Adams to arrive in Massachusetts, in 1638.
So we went home as quickly as we could, and afterwards these priests removed the calf whither I knew not, without so much as paying me its price, to keep it until such time as it should take the place of the old Apis, which was so near to death that its sarcophagus was already fashioned and in its niche at the burying-place of bulls some leagues away.
The team of green-gowned meditechs was starting to slide the corpse into the stainless-steel cylinder that would be his cryonic sarcophagus.
Andrew Kuzmitz, to run a tomographic scan on it, and that indicated the presence of a heart, neatly encased within a stone sarcophagus.
Over the white sarcophagi in the tunnellike embryonator, through the armored glass of the periscope, shone Alpha Harpyiae, a blue giant that had been deflected from the stars of the constellation by one of its own asymmetric eruptions, as it was young and not yet stabilized after the nuclear ignition of its interior.