mon·​strance ˈmän(t)-strən(t)s How to pronounce monstrance (audio)
: a vessel in which the consecrated Host is exposed for the adoration of the faithful

Illustration of monstrance

Illustration of monstrance

Examples of monstrance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The other is a late-17th century Cuzco School painting from Peru, which shows Habsburg King Charles II, sword drawn and backed by two archangels (including Michael), defending from attack a Eucharist displayed inside a spectacular jeweled monstrance. Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2022 And inside the sunburst, called the monstrance, was the Blessed Sacrament, the consecrated eucharist bread that Roman Catholics believe to be the body of Jesus. New York Times, 26 June 2021 In this place of honor, the priests and deacon took turns carrying a monstrance, an ornate gilded container made to hold the consecrated holy Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ. Daniel I. Dorfman,, 8 June 2021 It was then placed in a golden monstrance—a sunburst-like vessel with a transparent center—in preparation for the procession. Tim Busch, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 In one of the ballrooms, the priest set up the monstrance for adoration, so people could continue to pray in Christ’s presence. Tim Busch, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 Father Michael Duffy lifted up the monstrance, while the deacon rang a bell. Tim Busch, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 In a monstrance, Catholics will adore the Body of Christ in His Eucharistic presence. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 28 Sep. 2020 Another powerful work associated with Saint Sebastian is a 1484 German monstrance, a gilded silver and rock crystal reliquary believed to contain a sliver of bone from the saint’s body. Steven Litt, cleveland, 26 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monstrance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English mustraunce, monstrans demonstration, monstrance, from Anglo-French mustrance show, sign, from Medieval Latin monstrantia, from Latin monstrare to show, from monstrum

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monstrance was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near monstrance

Cite this Entry

“Monstrance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mon·​strance ˈmän(t)-strən(t)s How to pronounce monstrance (audio)
: a vessel in which the consecrated Host is exposed

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