A space below the floor in some ancient Roman buildings, into which hot air was piped to warm the rooms.
Webster's New World
An underfloor heating system, even without such an underfloor space or flue, as adapted for modern housing.
Other Word Forms of Hypocaust
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”)
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