pa·​ter·​nos·​ter ˌpä-tər-ˈnä-stər How to pronounce paternoster (audio)
-ˈnä-ˌster How to pronounce paternoster (audio)
often capitalized : lord's prayer
: a word formula repeated as a prayer or magical charm

Examples of paternoster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like cataloguers of beleaguered animal species, paternoster preservationists have produced maps of the approximately 300 active paternoster lifts in operation around the world. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, 18 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paternoster.' 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, from Old English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin pater noster our father, from the opening words

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of paternoster was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near paternoster

Cite this Entry

“Paternoster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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