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

Built on the collection amassed over several decades by the museum’s founder, oil heiress Dominique de Menil, and her husband, John de Menil, the museum’s holdings range from Mayan ceramics to medieval reliquaries to Magritte paintings. Lesley M.m. Blume, WSJ, "Houston’s Menil Collection Will Open a New Drawing Institute In November," 10 Oct. 2018 Elevator cabs clad in backlit slabs of rose and green onyx suggest medieval reliquaries. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "Shape-Shifting Art Tower Completes Prada’s City Within a City," 15 June 2018 All four were designed as free-standing reliquaries and encased in cabinet-like frames — since removed or replaced — embedded with sacred materials. New York Times, "Review: Art for the Soul in ‘Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth’," 16 May 2018 Those busts showcased pieces from a bookish collection that included earrings of miniature bejeweled reliquaries and golden books, the open pages engraved with a poem in almost miraculously tiny lettering. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Goes Inside Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda and Sartoria Events in New York City," 9 Apr. 2018 Among the 13 vibrant paintings, a reliquary from the Gardner’s collection is reunited with three from Florence, which together depict the Virgin Mary’s life., "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 30 Mar. 2018 There are multiple legends of Saint Valentine, and different reliquaries in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France all claim to have bones attributed to a Saint Valentine. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The Mysterious History of the Real Saint Behind Valentine's Day," 14 Feb. 2018 According to the Catholic publication Crux, the reliquary containing the fragment was also stolen. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Sliver of Saint’s Brain Stolen From Italian Basilica," 8 June 2017 Prior to the theft, people flocked to the Don Bosco Basilica to pray in front of its reliquary, McKenna reports. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Sliver of Saint’s Brain Stolen From Italian Basilica," 8 June 2017

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.

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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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English Language Learners Definition of reliquary

: a container that is used to hold holy objects (called relics)

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reliquary Encyclopedia article about reliquary

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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