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

During season 9, the couple decided on a venue, Eddie chose her dress, and all that's left is for the love birds to meet at the altar. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Couple Jamie Reagan and Eddie Janko Have Had Such a Dramatic Relationship," 27 Apr. 2019 Monks walk to the altar next to Franco’s grave during the Sunday Mass this past weekend. Jeannette Neumann, WSJ, "Spain’s Plan to Exhume Franco Unearths Divisions," 6 Sep. 2018 She was also caught running circles around her mom and little sister at the altar during the ceremony. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Leonore of Sweden Was Literally on the Floor at Her Sister's Christening and It Was So Relatable," 14 June 2018 However, when the Home Mini arrived on the scene, these customization options were sacrificed at the altar of price and portability. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Google Home Mini’s new aqua model is now shipping — a month late," 29 Nov. 2018 Clearly, a huge chunk of the culture worships at the altar of Kylie and Travis. Dan Barna, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Transforms Into the Virgin Mary for Travis Scott's "Stop Trying to Be God" Video," 7 Aug. 2018 Clearly, a huge chunk of the culture worships at the altar of Kylie and Travis. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Stars as the Virgin Mary in Travis Scott's "Stop Trying to Be God" Music Video," 7 Aug. 2018 After walking down the aisle with her bridesmaids, page boys, and later Prince Charle, Meghan met her groom at the altar of St. George's Chapel. Katie Frost, Town & Country, "Here's What Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Day Was Like," 19 May 2018 Whatever your preference, be sure to genuflect at the altar of canned and pickled vegetables upstairs in backlit mason jars. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Restaurants in Charleston," 2 May 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

15 May 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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