of·​fer·​to·​ry | \ ˈȯ-fər-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce offertory (audio) , ˈȯ-fə-, ˈä- \
plural offertories

Definition of offertory

1 often capitalized
a : the eucharistic offering of bread and wine to God before they are consecrated
b : a verse from a Psalm said or sung at the beginning of the offertory
2a : the period of collection and presentation of the offerings of the congregation at public worship
b : a musical composition played or sung during an offertory

Examples of offertory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web About 60% of the parish’s offertory transactions come electronically, and 52% of its members give online, the top figures in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Jonathan M. Pitts,, "Beyond the collection plate: These Maryland churches are preaching the value of electronic giving," 6 Dec. 2019 Stanley also served as an offertory collector during weekly Mass for many years., "Stanley W. Lesinski," 17 May 2018

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

First Known Use of offertory

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for offertory

Middle English offertorie, from Medieval Latin offertorium, from Late Latin offerre

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about offertory

Time Traveler for offertory

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for offertory

Cite this Entry

“Offertory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for offertory


How to pronounce offertory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of offertory

: the offering of bread and wine to God as part of the Communion ceremony during a Christian church service
: a verse from a psalm that is said or sung at the beginning of the Offertory
: the part of a Christian church service during which offerings of money are collected

More from Merriam-Webster on offertory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with offertory

Comments on offertory

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!