ro·​sa·​ry | \ ˈrō-zə-rē How to pronounce rosary (audio) , ˈrōz-rē \
plural rosaries

Definition of rosary

1 often capitalized : a Roman Catholic devotion consisting of meditation on usually five sacred mysteries during recitation of five decades of Hail Marys of which each begins with an Our Father and ends with a Gloria Patri
2 : a string of beads used in counting prayers especially of the Roman Catholic rosary

Examples of rosary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The eldest daughter selected a shirt her father had worn in the hospital, as well as his cellphone, and two other sisters picked their father’s Virgen de Guadalupe prayer card and a rosary purchased on a trip to Israel. Los Angeles Times, "COVID-19 took away their last moments together. Now families cherish what was left behind," 30 Apr. 2021 Laurie Nelsen holds a rosary made by her mother, Claire Ryan. Washington Post, "They’re worried their mom is becoming a conspiracy theorist. She thinks they’re the ones living in a fantasy world.," 12 Mar. 2021 Asle is a Catholic convert and, in Damion Searls’s liquid translation, his thoughts are rendered in long run-on sentences whose metronomic cadences conjure the intake and outtake of breath, or the reflexive motions of fingers telling a rosary. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: ‘An I-Novel’ Review," 12 Mar. 2021 Never used, the rosary disappeared somewhere along the way. Rafael Alvarez, CNN, "The peace, insights and life-rescuing power of the rosary and other religious prayer beads," 27 Dec. 2020 Inspired, Ruhnkeshe brightened her palette and her spirits with a series of great blue heron paintings, including one of the bird in flight with a rosary around its long legs. René A. Guzman,, "The great blue heron towers above other water birds," 29 Dec. 2020 Others got things like a rosary, a luxury watch, a nice pen and fancy cufflinks. David A. Hammer,, "Monster in our midst: Despite predatory past, deacon welcomed back to Catholic institutions," 18 Dec. 2020 That in turn has made inmates more comfortable speaking with the chaplains to ask for a prayer, books or a rosary. Leila Miller Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "During the pandemic, chaplains are a lifeline for inmates," 16 Dec. 2020 After the rosary, the guests and dancers fellowship with food and warm drinks. Carmina Tiscareño, Dallas News, "‘Faith kept us dancing’: Troupes preserve Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe traditions amid pandemic," 11 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rosary.' 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 rosary

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rosary

Middle English, "rose garden, rosebush," borrowed from Medieval Latin rosārium "rose garden, rosebush, book of devotions," going back to Latin, "rose bed, rose garden," from rosa rose entry 2 + -ārium -ary entry 1

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Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rosary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for rosary



English Language Learners Definition of rosary

: a string of beads that are used by Roman Catholics for counting prayers
: a set of Roman Catholic prayers that are repeated in a specific order


ro·​sa·​ry | \ ˈrō-zə-rē How to pronounce rosary (audio) \
plural rosaries

Kids Definition of rosary

: a string of beads used in counting prayers


ro·​sa·​ry | \ ˈrōz-(ə-)rē How to pronounce rosary (audio) \
plural rosaries

Medical Definition of rosary

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Nglish: Translation of rosary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rosary for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rosary

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