1

hearse

play
noun \ˈhərs\

Definition of hearse

  1. 1a :  an elaborate framework erected over a coffin or tomb to which memorial verses or epitaphs are attachedb :  a triangular candelabra for 15 candles used especially at Tenebrae

  2. 2a archaic :  coffinb obsolete :  bier 2

  3. 3 :  a vehicle for conveying the dead to the grave

Recent Examples of hearse from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Medieval French used the word herce for a harrow, a farm tool used to break up and smooth the soil. Herce was also applied to a triangular frame that was used for holding candles. Herce was borrowed into Middle English as herse. In those days, a large and decorative framework might be raised over the tomb or coffin of an honored person. Because this framework was often decorated with candles, the word herse was applied to it. A series of slightly changed meanings led to the use of herse (Modern English hearse) for a platform for a corpse or coffin, and from that to a vehicle to carry the dead. The verb hearse emerged late in the 16th century.

Origin and Etymology of hearse

Middle English herse, from Anglo-French herce harrow, frame for holding candles, from Latin hirpic-, hirpex harrow

Other Automotive Terms


2

hearse

verb

Definition of hearse

hearsed

;

hearsing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a archaic :  to place on or in a hearseb :  to convey in a hearse

  3. 2 :  bury

Examples of hearse in a Sentence

  1. the cemetery hearses an average of eight bodies a week

First Known Use of hearse

1592


HEARSE Defined for English Language Learners

hearse

play
noun

Definition of hearse for English Language Learners

  • : a large car that is used for carrying a coffin to a grave


HEARSE Defined for Kids

hearse

play
noun \ˈhərs\

Definition of hearse for Students

  1. :  a vehicle for carrying a dead person to the grave



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