(HYE-poh-kawst) [Latin, from Greek] In ancient Rome, a space or channel, under the floor or in the wall, in which heated air was received and distributed through a central heating system. In the summer palace of Herod the Great (d. 4 b.c.) on Masada, an excavated area under the baths where slaves kept fires hot to create a steamy atmosphere.

Dictionary of foreign words and phrases. . 2012.

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  • Hypocaust — Hyp o*caust, n. [L. hypocaustum, Gr. ?; ? under + ? to burn: cf. F. hypocauste.] (Anc. Arch.) A furnace, esp. one connected with a series of small chambers and flues of tiles or other masonry through which the heat of a fire was distributed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hypocaust — ► NOUN ▪ an ancient Roman heating system, comprising a hollow space under the floor into which hot air was directed. ORIGIN Greek hupokauston place heated from below …   English terms dictionary

  • hypocaust — [hī′pō kôst΄, hip′ōkôst΄] n. [L hypocaustum < Gr hypokauston < hypokaiein, to heat by applying fire below < hypo (see HYPO ) + kaiein, to burn] a space below the floor in some ancient Roman buildings, into which hot air was piped to warm …   English World dictionary

  • Hypocaust — A hypocaust (Latin hypocaustum ) is an ancient Roman system of central heating. The word literally means heat from below , from the Greek hypo meaning below or underneath, and kaiein , to burn or light a fire. They are traditionally considered to …   Wikipedia

  • hypocaust — /huy peuh kawst , hip euh /, n. a hollow space or system of channels in the floor or walls of some ancient Roman buildings that provided a central heating system by receiving and distributing the heat from a furnace. [1670 80; < L hypocaustum <… …   Universalium

  • Hypocaust — Ein Hypokaustum oder Hypokauste (griech. hypokauston = „von unten heizen“) ist eine Warmluftheizung (Hypokaustenheizung), bei der ein massiver Körper mit warmer Luft durchströmt wird, der aber im Vergleich zu einem Heizkörper eine niedrigere… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hypocaust — noun Etymology: Latin hypocaustum, from Greek hypokauston, from hypokaiein to light a fire under, from hypo + kaiein to burn Date: 1678 an ancient Roman central heating system with underground furnace and tile flues to distribute the heat …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hypocaust — noun a) An underfloor space or flue through which heat from a furnace passes to heat the floor of a room or a bath, as illustrated by the ancient Roman hypocaustum, and the traditional Korean ondol (온돌, 溫突). b) An underfloor heating system, even… …   Wiktionary

  • hypocaust — [ hʌɪpə(ʊ)kɔ:st] noun an ancient Roman heating system, comprising a hollow space under the floor into which hot air was directed. Origin from L. hypocaustum, from Gk hupokauston place heated from below …   English new terms dictionary

  • hypocaust — hy·po·caust …   English syllables