nar·​thex ˈnär-ˌtheks How to pronounce narthex (audio)
: the portico of an ancient church
: a vestibule leading to the nave of a church

Examples of narthex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is a narthex, or entrance hall, brightly lit and full of movement in and out. Diarmaid MacCulloch, The New York Review of Books, 2 July 2020 The processional from the narthex down the nave to the altar has been compressed into a passage of just a few steps. Curbed, 6 Dec. 2022

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

Word History


Late Greek narthēx, from Greek, giant fennel, cane, casket

First Known Use

circa 1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of narthex was circa 1673

Dictionary Entries Near narthex

Cite this Entry

“Narthex.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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