cat·​a·​falque | \ ˈka-tə-ˌfȯ(l)k How to pronounce catafalque (audio) , -ˌfalk \

Definition of catafalque

1 : an ornamental structure sometimes used in funerals for the lying in state of the body
2 : a pall-covered coffin-shaped structure used at requiem masses celebrated after burial

Examples of catafalque in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Caskets are often placed on the Lincoln catafalque, the stand first used for the casket for Abraham Lincoln, according to the Architect of the Capitol. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 The coffin will be carried inside to the choir or Quire, placed on a catafalque, and the service will begin. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 15 Apr. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also spoke, praising Evans as an American hero being honored with his coffin on the same catafalque, or wooden stand, that held the coffin of former president Abraham Lincoln. Michelle Stoddart, ABC News, 13 Apr. 2021 Ginsburg lay in state in the National Statuary Hall on the House side of the Capitol, her coffin resting on the historic Lincoln catafalque. Stuart Emmrich, Vogue, 25 Sep. 2020 The Senate on Monday approved a joint resolution, with the House expected to follow suit, for use of the catafalque for Cummings’ services in Statuary Hall. Fox News, 22 Oct. 2019 The catafalque is a wooden platform first used at the Capitol when President Lincoln lay in state, with his casket resting on top of it. Fox News, 22 Oct. 2019 McCain’s casket will rest atop the wooden catafalque, a platform constructed for Lincoln’s funeral. Chad Pergram, Fox News, 30 Aug. 2018 The catafalque is now on display in the Capitol Visitors Center. Chad Pergram, Fox News, 30 Aug. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catafalque.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of catafalque

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for catafalque

Italian catafalco, from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum scaffold, from cata- + Latin fala siege tower

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The first known use of catafalque was in 1641

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Cite this Entry

“Catafalque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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