Definition of altar
1 : a usually raised structure or place on which sacrifices are offered or incense is burned in worship —often used figuratively to describe a thing given great or undue precedence or value especially at the cost of something else sacrificed his family life on the altar of career advancement
2 : a table on which the eucharistic elements are consecrated or which serves as a center of worship or ritual
Recent Examples of altar from the Web
A prominent maker and seller of bridal dresses has left perhaps hundreds of brides-to-be stranded at the altar – at least for now.
Like, say, Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris or La Mamounia in Marrakech, whose hulking carved mahogany altars of good spirit, worn from nearly a century’s worth of elbows, inspire us to sit up a little straighter.
This prohibition can sometimes urge people toward the altar.
Among the items being documented was a nearly 90-year-old statue of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Grace, which sits at the right side of the altar at St. John the Baptist.
In addition to location changes, worshippers may see a new face at the altar.
The exact purpose of the sun altar in Xinjiang, however, has yet to be identified.
The altar itself is comprised of three layered circles of stone.
Prior to the show, Pérez kept the suitcase on an altar of sorts in his bedroom closet.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'altar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of altar
Middle English alter, from Old English altar, from Latin altare; probably akin to Latin adolēre to burn up
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
ALTAR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of altar for English Language Learners
: a raised place on which sacrifices and gifts are offered in some religions
: a platform or table used as a center of worship in Christian ceremonies and services
ALTAR Defined for Kids
Definition of altar for Students
1 : a platform or table used as a center of worship
2 : a usually raised place on which sacrifices are offered
Seen and Heard
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