lec·​tern | \ ˈlek-tərn \

Definition of lectern

: a stand used to support a book or script in a convenient position for a standing reader or speaker especially : one from which scripture lessons are read in a church service

Examples of lectern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Justice antitrust chief Makan Delrahim attended Thursday’s hearing, sometimes passing notes to Mr. Murray at the lectern. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Government Faces Skeptical Judges in AT&T Appeal," 6 Dec. 2018 Mark Schweiker, alongside Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, said at a Convention Center lectern. Philly.com, "For Philly's new school board: Lessons from the SRC's 17 years," 1 July 2018 The Microsoft founder took with him to the lectern a sealed jar containing human feces, according to BBC News. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "How Does Bill Gates's Ingenious, Waterless, Life-Saving Toilet Work?," 6 Nov. 2018 Rotondo noted that microphones placed by the media were on the lawyer's lectern. Marwa Eltagouri, chicagotribune.com, "A 30-year-old demanded notice for eviction from his parents' house. 'Outrageous,' a New York judge said.," 23 May 2018 White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' daily briefing, first scheduled for 1:15 p.m., was pushed back to 3:30 p.m., then to 4 p.m., then to 5 p.m., so Nielsen could field questions at the lectern. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump defiant as crisis grows over family separation at the border," 19 June 2018 Roddy said dozens of schools have hauled out gear, many wanting attorney lecterns, court seals and other items to lend a realistic touch to their student moot courts. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Old downtown courthouse being stripped before demolition," 7 July 2018 In the 20th century, only a handful of presidents, including William McKinley, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and Gerald Ford, have failed to seize the Naval Academy’s lectern, The Post has reported. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, "Trump’s speech to Naval Academy graduates: A presidential tradition with deep roots," 25 May 2018 The front-runner was shuffled off to the side while a right-wing Republican stood behind a lectern in the middle, and the resulting visual felt like the perfect symbol of the June 5 ballot. John Myers, latimes.com, "California's would-be governors play it safe in the last real debate before June's primary," 9 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of lectern

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lectern

Middle English lettorne, from Anglo-French leitrun, from Medieval Latin lectrinum, from Late Latin lectrum, from Latin legere to read — more at legend

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lectern

Dictionary Entries near lectern

Le Corbusier







Statistics for lectern

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lectern

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lectern



English Language Learners Definition of lectern

: a stand that holds a book, notes, etc., for someone who is reading, speaking, or teaching

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lectern

Spanish Central: Translation of lectern

Nglish: Translation of lectern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lectern

Comments on lectern

What made you want to look up lectern? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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