Sar*coph"a*gus (?), n.; pl. L. Sarcophagi (#), E. Sarcophaguses (#). [L., fr. Gr. , properly, eating flesh; , , , flesh + 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.
© Webster 1913.