altar

noun, often attributive
al·​tar | \ ˈȯl-tər \

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
2a : a tablelike construction used in the Christian church in celebrating the Eucharist
b : a table or place which serves as a center of worship or ritual often used with the to refer to the act of getting married They are destined for the altar.She left him at the altar. [=she decided at the last minute not to go through with her planned marriage to him]

Examples of altar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When Islamic State captured the Iraqi town of Telskuf four years ago this week, terrorists desecrated the local Chaldean Catholic church and beheaded congregants on the altar. Mark Green, WSJ, "Help Is on the Way for Middle Eastern Christians," 13 June 2018 Something beautiful is sacrificed on the altar of the future, which nonetheless must be embraced. New York Times, "How Luchino Visconti Made History Sing," 7 June 2018 Her solo walk down the aisle was one of the most poignant moments of the wedding, as the beautiful and confident Markle waltzed to meet Prince Harry at the altar. Vogue, "How Meghan Markle Made Her Mark on the Monarchy in 2018," 13 Dec. 2018 Image In a shrine on the sixth floor of a Manhattan office building, a photo of a man in golden robes hangs above an altar. Andy Newman, New York Times, "The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report," 11 July 2018 Yet Follieri, committed to the ruse, installed an altar in his office, had a nun as his receptionist, and kept ceremonial robes in his office. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Remember the Time Anne Hathaway Dated a Con Man?," 8 June 2018 Winds off the harbor whipped through the shivering crowd and caused a fluttering of the cloth atop the folding table that served as an altar. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "Thousands gather for Castle Island sunrise Easter Mass," 1 Apr. 2018 That's eight brides who didn't quite make it to the altar. Fox News, "Jay Sekulow: Mueller investigation needs to end 'very soon'," 9 Aug. 2018 Nick’s brother Joe, on the other hand, proposed to girlfriend Sophie Turner in October after a year of dating and the pair seems totally happy and in no rush to run to the altar. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Nick Jonas Reportedly Bought Priyanka Chopra's Engagement Ring from Tiffany's," 27 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of altar

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for altar

Middle English alter, from Old English altar, from Latin altare; probably akin to Latin adolēre to burn up

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Statistics for altar

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for altar

The first known use of altar was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for altar

altar

noun

English Language Learners Definition of altar

: 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

noun
al·​tar | \ ˈȯl-tər \

Kids Definition of altar

1 : a platform or table used as a center of worship
2 : a usually raised place on which sacrifices are offered

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More from Merriam-Webster on altar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with altar

Spanish Central: Translation of altar

Nglish: Translation of altar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of altar for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about altar

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