cal·​va·​ry | \ ˈkal-v(ə-)rē How to pronounce calvary (audio) \
plural calvaries

Definition of calvary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an open-air representation of the crucifixion of Jesus
2 : an experience of usually intense mental suffering


geographical name
Cal·​va·​ry | \ ˈkal-v(ə-)rē How to pronounce Calvary (audio) \
variants: or Hebrew Golgotha \ ˈgäl-​gə-​thə How to pronounce Calvary (audio) , gäl-​ˈgä-​thə \

Definition of Calvary (Entry 2 of 2)

place outside ancient Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified

Examples of calvary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Bridges lived only a few blocks from the school, but the morning trip there was a calvary for Ruby and her mother. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Lucille Bridges, who stood by daughter Ruby through school desegregation, dies at 86," 12 Nov. 2020

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

First Known Use of calvary


1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for calvary


Calvary, the hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified

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The first known use of calvary was in 1738

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Cite this Entry

“Calvary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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Britannica English: Translation of calvary for Arabic Speakers

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