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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
tea urn
▪ A Victorian stuff-over settee made £320; a mahogany hexagonal occasional table, £200 and a Sheffield plate tea urn, £170.
▪ Eyes turned again to the tea urn.
▪ After this solemn function, the body was placed above a side altar in a crystal urn.
▪ Couches and armchairs as big as beds were surrounded by Graeco-Roman statuary and Oriental urns.
▪ Does that urn fall over and break later in the film?
▪ He turned the open mouth of the urn toward the light and peered in.
▪ The urn rattled brightly Seashells, he thought, remembering his time as a child at the gulf shore.
▪ The soup urn had a lonely look.
▪ The square funerary monument was found to contain a series of stelae with inscriptions and five urns.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Urn \Urn\, v. t. To inclose in, or as in, an urn; to inurn.

When horror universal shall descend, And heaven's dark concave urn all human race.


Urn \Urn\, n. [OE. urne, L. urna; perhaps fr. urere to burn, and sop called as being made of burnt clay (cf. East): cf. F. urne.]

  1. A vessel of various forms, usually a vase furnished with a foot or pedestal, employed for different purposes, as for holding liquids, for ornamental uses, for preserving the ashes of the dead after cremation, and anciently for holding lots to be drawn.

    A rustic, digging in the ground by Padua, found an urn, or earthen pot, in which there was another urn.
    --Bp. Wilkins.

    His scattered limbs with my dead body burn, And once more join us in the pious urn.

  2. Fig.: Any place of burial; the grave.

    Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn, Tombless, with no remembrance over them.

  3. (Rom. Antiq.) A measure of capacity for liquids, containing about three gallons and a haft, wine measure. It was haft the amphora, and four times the congius.

  4. (Bot.) A hollow body shaped like an urn, in which the spores of mosses are contained; a spore case; a theca.

  5. A tea urn. See under Tea.

    Urn mosses (Bot.), the order of true mosses; -- so called because the capsules of many kinds are urn-shaped.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "large, rounded vase used to preserve the ashes of the dead," from Latin urna "a jar, vessel of baked clay, water-jar; vessel for the ashes of the dead" (also used as a ballot box and for drawing lots), probably from earlier *urc-na, akin to urceus "pitcher, jug," and from the same source as Greek hyrke "earthen vessel." But another theory connects it to Latin urere "to burn" (compare bust (n.1)).


n. a vase with a footed base

  1. n. a large vase that usually has a pedestal or feet

  2. a large pot for making coffee or tea

Urn (disambiguation)

An urn is a vase-like container.

Urn may refer to:

  • Urn (band), a gothic metal band
  • Electric water boiler
  • Urn problem, a certain model studied in probability theory and combinatorics

The acronymURN may refer to:

  • Uniform resource name, a uniform resource identifier (URI) using the scheme
  • University Radio Nottingham, a university radio station in Nottingham, England

An urn is a vase, often with a cover, that usually has a somehat narrowed neck above a rounded body and a footed pedestal. Describing a vessel as an "urn", as opposed to a vase or other terms, generally reflects its use rather than any particular shape or origin. The term is especially often used for funerary urns, vessels used in burials, either to hold the cremated ashes or as grave-goods, but is used in many other contexts; in catering large vessels for serving tea or coffee are often called "tea-urns", even when they are metal cylinders of purely functional design. Large sculpted vases are often called urns, whether placed outdoors, in gardens or as architectural ornaments on buildings, or kept inside.

Urn (band)

Urn is a gothic / folk metal band based out of the Orlando area.

Usage examples of "urn".

With four of us using our allas at the same time we could get sixteen pi meters, which is, urn, 164 feet and 10.

Lavish floral displays in marble urns stood atop charcoal-gray pedestals in the main room, while areca palms potted in carved stone planters enlivened dark corners and long hallways.

Here, in a vast old abandoned death house, replete with many strange vaulted chambers connected by dark and crumbling passageways winding convolutedly like so many intestines deep into the bowels of the earth, down ever downward, into small niche-pocked vaults filled with damp worm-eaten caskets, many askew and half-opened crypts of the long dead, urns of dust, and the scattered bones of dogs and man, here, chose Zulkeh to rest and ponder his wealth of artifacts and relics, his scrolls and tablets, his talismans and tomes, the fruit gathered of his many journeys.

The always punctilious Geffri put the caffe urn and the cup on the bedside table.

Patriarch excused himself and returned a few moments later, clad in a white robe, rather than the silver one he had been wearing, and carrying a tear-shaped religious vessel known as a lachrymatory, a canopic urn, a cinerary bowl used to store burial ashes, and a censer of burning incense.

Salamis evidences of cremation are found, and at Mouliana, in Crete, there are instances of uncremated bones being found along with bronze swords on one side of a tomb, while on the other were found an iron sword and cremated bones in a cinerary urn.

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.

Shinto attendants in black lacquer caps, and gleams of sunlit gold here and there, and simple monumental urns, and a mountain-side covered with a cryptomeria forest, with rose azaleas lighting up its solemn shade.

Across the back of the house was a sunroom, all done up in white wicker and green chintz, with a view of absolutely gorgeous gardens, and farther away, across a stone patio and staircase lined with white plaster urns, the blue of Dingle Bay.

One godling, a devout-seeming woman with a gold ring in her ear, approached the altar table and filled the familiar golden urn with what looked like plain sea water.

Or, dumb with ignominy Like that with which he perished, shall I pour Libations on the earth, and like a man That flings away the lustral filth, shall I Throw down the urn and walk with eyes not turned?

The museum comprehended an infinite number of medals, coins, urns, utensils, seals, cameos, intaglios, precious stones, vessels of agate and jasper, crystals, spars, fossils, metals, minerals, ore, earths, sands, salts, bitumens, sulphurs, ambergrise, talcs, mirre, testacea, corals, sponges, echini, echenites, asteri, trochi, crustatia, stellae marine, fishes, birds, eggs and nests, vipers, serpents, quadrupeds, insects, human calculi, anatomical preparations, seeds, gums, roots, dried plants, pictures, drawings, and mathematical instruments.

Mahogany cabinets hugged the wall space, large urns stood atop marble stands, and orig inal artwork graced the cream walls.

I followed her and, in the guise of being helpful, began to set out cups and saucers, arranging Pepperidge Farm cookies on plates lined with paper doilies while she hauled out the big stainless-steel coffee urn that usually sat in the office.

An urn full of ashes would be returned to Arturo Sombra either tomorrow or Wednesday, and on Wednesday night, after the midway shut down, there would be a funeral.