altar

noun, often attributive
al·​tar | \ ˈȯl-tər How to pronounce altar (audio) \

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

Prince Harry recalled that his father was glad to escort his daughter-in-law to the altar. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Goes Glam for Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday Party," 14 Nov. 2018 Set in the ’80s, Sandler’s Robbie Hart is a wedding singer (and hopeless romantic) recently left at the altar who helps Drew Barrymore’s Julia plan her wedding to the wrong man. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Game of Thrones' altar discovered at ancient Maya temple, reveals its secrets. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Hearing in limbo as Kavanaugh's accuser sets her terms; Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen meets with Mueller," 21 Sep. 2018 The prostration upon the sequined altar of Dancing With the Stars. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Sympathy for the Charlie," 26 Apr. 2018 Reportedly, Harris was planning to leave her groom-to-be at the altar while camera’s were rolling for the Lifetime TV special in return for a $500,000 paycheck. Fox News, "8 Playmate scandals revealed," 16 Aug. 2018 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

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

6 Mar 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 How to pronounce altar (audio) \

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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