am·​pho·​ra | \ ˈam(p)-fə-rə How to pronounce amphora (audio) \
plural amphorae\ ˈam(p)-​fə-​ˌrē How to pronounce amphora (audio) , -​ˌrī \ or amphoras

Definition of amphora

1 : an ancient Greek jar or vase with a large oval body, narrow cylindrical neck, and two handles that rise almost to the level of the mouth broadly : such a jar or vase used elsewhere in the ancient world
2 : a 2-handled vessel shaped like an amphora

Illustration of amphora

Illustration of amphora

amphora 1

Examples of amphora in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More than 300,000 items, from coins and jewellery to marble statues, amphoras, lamps and perfume vases have been unearthed. The Economist, "The discovery of an ancient complex in Thessaloniki ignites old debates," 10 Dec. 2019 Back in 2012, the archaeologists uncovered what was believed to be the home of a perfume merchant, which included an area for manufacturing some sort of liquid as well as amphora and glass bottles with residue in them. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Cleopatra May Have Once Smelled Like This Recreated Perfume," 9 Aug. 2019 The ship’s cargo includes at least four different types of amphora, or ancient jars, as well as fine ceramics. Fox News, "Ancient shipwrecks, stone pyramid anchors, discovered off Greek island," 9 Nov. 2019 About a week of skin contact in stainless steel, then aged in clay amphora. Ellen Bhang,, "Drink your colors. Orange wines make it easy.," 27 Aug. 2019 Then take a tour of the four-level winery, built into the hillside, to see the clay amphoras, crafted according to traditional techniques in Georgia, filled with thousands of liters of wine and buried in the earth. Mary Winston Nicklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "Istria Has All the Beauty of the Mediterranean and None of Croatia's Crowds," 16 Aug. 2019 Both burial chambers also held ancient treasures, including figurines, clay pots, false amphoras (jugs) and narrow-leaved basins, as well as other small artifacts such as buttons, the Ministry reported yesterday (Aug. 11). Fox News, "Grave robbers missed these ancient Greek graves," 14 Aug. 2019 The pots, distant relatives to amphoras and urns, stand on the floor and reach to the viewer’s ribs and higher. Leah Ollman,, "Ruby Neri sculpts flamboyant, fearless, nakedly female figures," 7 June 2019 On a quiet street in a quiet town, locals gather at Adega Velha for Alentejano homecooking and amphora-aged house wine. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Vacation in Portugal the Less-Obvious Way," 10 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amphora.' 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 amphora

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amphora

borrowed from Latin, adaptation (with gender and suffix change) of Greek amphoreús, by haplology from amphiphoreús, from amphi- amphi- + phoreús "bearer, carrier," from phor- (stem in nominal derivation of phérein "to carry") + -eus, instrument suffix — more at bear entry 2

Note: The form amphiphoreús occurs in Homeric epics, but most likely only for metrical reasons. According to P. Chantraine (Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque), Mycenaean documents have evidence for both amphiphoreús and amphoreús.

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The first known use of amphora was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Amphora.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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Nglish: Translation of amphora for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about amphora

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