rel·​i·​quary | \ ˈre-lə-ˌkwer-ē How to pronounce reliquary (audio) \
plural reliquaries

Definition of reliquary

: a container or shrine in which sacred relics are kept

Examples of reliquary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jimmy ran his place like a reliquary, filling his hole in the wall with framed photographs of fellow pugilists and pasting snapshots of patrons on the bartop. Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2021 This knee-high reliquary made of wood pegs, split cane, vegetable fiber, and cloth was once used to house specific ancestral spirits, researchers think. Nick Roll, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Aug. 2021 Indeed, the elaborate gold and silver reliquary, a container for holy lyrics, has quite the backstory. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 29 Apr. 2021 According to the Heritage Science paper, in the late 12th century the relics had been taken from an old marble reliquary, and the 19th century they were placed in a wooden box sculpted to resemble an old Christian sarcophagus, or tomb. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 3 Mar. 2021 One of the show’s earliest pieces, installed on the second floor, is, in effect, a civil rights era reliquary. New York Times, 18 Feb. 2021 The new chapel will include a reliquary for 27 saints, including St. Anthony of Padua himself, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Elizabeth. Meagan Ellsworth, Chron, 6 Feb. 2021 One personal reliquary housed at the British Museum, dated to 1340, is made from gold, amethyst, rock crystal, and enamel. Katy Kelleher, Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020 Sunga lifted the lid off one of the wooden reliquaries, rotten with age, and three skulls peered out at us. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 May 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of reliquary

1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reliquary

French reliquaire, from Medieval Latin reliquiarium, from reliquia relic — more at relic

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The first known use of reliquary was in 1652

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Cite this Entry

“Reliquary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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