FREE next day delivery* on stocked items in mainland UK. Support UK Business Dismiss

definition of an urn

What is the definition of an Urn?

There are various definitions on an Urn, let’s ignore those specifically referring to a large receptacle for tea and such like and focus on those that contain ashes, oops have I just given the game away? Let’s see… 

Urn (noun: urn; plural noun: urns)
So Google pops up with the following:

a tall, rounded vase with a stem and base, especially one used for storing the ashes of a cremated person.

Cambridge dictionary tells us that an urn is:

a container, especially a large*, round one on a stem, that is used for decorative purposes in a garden, or one that has a lid and is used for holding a dead person’s ashes

Which goes on to tell us that ashes are the powder that is left after a dead body has been burned

Collins Distortionary explains it thus:

An urn is a container in which a dead person’s ashes are kept.

Merriam Webster 
 a vessel that is typically an ornamental vase on a pedestal and that is used for various purposes (such as preserving* the ashes of the dead after cremation)

Now, there some commonalities, well actually is there? Even its primary purpose is to hold, so I agree with vessel or container. Not a vase though.

So other descriptive words and phrases used: tall; rounded; stem and base; large; ornamental.

I would say that it does not have to be any of those things, although can be some or all.

Scattering Ashes’ definition of an urn:

A container used to hold ashes.

So, is Ashes Jewellery an Urn? Probably not but they are a container for ashes..

*One last thing, well two actually. People (in this case lexicographers) should not use the word ‘large’ unless as a comparator. Secondly the use of the word preserving, do they really? I suppose it depends on your definition of preserving! Help!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top