Hypocaust definition

hīpə-kôst
A space under the floor of an ancient Roman building where heat from a furnace was accumulated to heat a room or a bath.
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A space below the floor in some ancient Roman buildings, into which hot air was piped to warm the rooms.
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An underfloor space or flue through which heat from a furnace passes to heat the floor of a room or a bath.
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An underfloor heating system, even without such an underfloor space or flue, as adapted for modern housing.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
hypocaust
Plural:
hypocausts

Origin of hypocaust

  • Latin hypocaustum from Greek hupokauston from hupokaiein to light a fire beneath hupo- hypo- kaiein to burn

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Latin hypocaustum, from Ancient Greek ὑπό (hupo, “underneath”) + καίειν (kaiein, “to light a fire, burn”)

    From Wiktionary