be·​ma ˈbē-mə How to pronounce bema (audio)
: the usually raised part of an Eastern church containing the altar
: bimah

Word History


Late Latin & Late Greek; Late Latin, from Late Greek bēma, from Greek, step, tribunal, from bainein to go — more at come

First Known Use

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bema was in 1683

Dictionary Entries Near bema

Cite this Entry

“Bema.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on bema

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!