E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A subterranean place for the burial of the dead. The Persians have a city they call Comb or Coom, full of mausoleums and the sepulchres of the Persian saints. (Greek, kata-kumb, a hollow place underground.) (See KOOM.)
The most awful idea connected with the catacombs is their interminable extent, and the possibility of going astray in the labyrinth of darkness.Hawthorne: Marble Faun, iii.