A cenotaph is a monument to the dead, specifically those buried in another place. Cenotaphs are often erected in honor of war veterans.

A cenotaph — which is very similar to a tomb — is a memorial to the dead. Unlike a tomb, a cenotaph doesn’t contain the body of the person memorialized, because the remains are elsewhere or couldn’t be recovered. Across the United States, you can find cenotaphs for people who served in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and other conflicts. Family members and other citizens leave flowers at cenotaphs to pay respect to the dead.

Definitions of cenotaph
  1. noun
    a monument built to honor people whose remains are interred elsewhere or whose remains cannot be recovered
    synonyms: empty tomb
    see moresee less
    type of:
    memorial, monument
    a structure erected to commemorate persons or events
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week