noun \ˈaps\

: a part of a church that is shaped like a half circle and that is usually at the east end of the building

Full Definition of APSE

:  apsis 1
:  a projecting part of a building (as a church) that is usually semicircular in plan and vaulted

Origin of APSE

Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin apsis, from Latin
First Known Use: 1715

Rhymes with APSE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Apse, basilica of S. Vitale, Ravenna, 526–547—Alinari/Art Resource, New York

Semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir, chancel (see cathedral), or aisle of a public building, first used in pre-Christian Roman architecture. Originally a large niche to hold the statue of a deity in a temple, the apse also appeared in ancient baths and basilicas. The domed apse became a standard part of the Christian church plan.


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