a monument honouring a dead person or persons buried elsewhere
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
An empty tomb; a commemorative monument not intended for burial.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
(Greek kenotaphion, “empty grave”), a funerary monument. Cenotaphs were erected by many peoples—ancient Greeks, Romans, Middle Asians, Egyptians—mostly when the remains of the deceased were for some reason unavailable for interment. The ritual was based on the conviction that the souls of the dead who had no graves could not find peace. In ancient Egypt royal cenotaphs were erected along with the actual tombs of the pharaohs and had ritual significance.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A monument erected in memory of one not interred in or under it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.