\ˈshrīn, especially Southern ˈsrīn\

Definition of shrine 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a case, box, or receptacle especially : one in which sacred relics (such as the bones of a saint) are deposited

b : a place in which devotion is paid to a saint or deity : sanctuary

c : a niche containing a religious image

2 : a receptacle (such as a tomb) for the dead

3 : a place or object hallowed by its associations


shrined; shrining

Definition of shrine (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for shrine

Synonyms: Noun

sanctuary, sanctum

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of shrine in a Sentence


the shrine of Saint Mary They erected a shrine to the saint. tourists visiting the shrines of American independence The writer's house has become a shrine to his fans.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Over the weekend, the pope will travel to both Dublin and the Catholic pilgrimage shrine of Knock, in County Mayo. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Pope Francis is heading to Ireland in the midst of scandal. It may be his toughest crowd yet.," 24 Aug. 2018 Fans of the Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty can find a shrine of sorts to the fictional personality at Fashion Valley Mall, where a new pop-up store sells colorful coffees, cakes and merchandise. Jennifer Van Grove,, "Hello Kitty Cafe pops up at Fashion Valley — for awhile," 31 May 2018 This week, Christie’s will seek to outdo that by transforming its own Rockefeller Center salesroom into a veritable shrine to their location’s namesake. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "An Estate Sale With the Rockefeller Touch," 5 May 2018 In fact, many of the shrines and temples in the game have merchants selling votives—another historically accurate detail, per Jones. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Those painted sculptures in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey are true to history," 23 Oct. 2018 The stadium’s sweeping roof is anchored to earth by steel cables, like a suspension bridge, and mixes the modern with traditional forms found in Japanese temples and shrines. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Tokyo’s 1964 Olympics echo through the city’s 2020 games," 22 July 2018 Zupu were often kept in ancestral shrines (such as the one pictured, dedicated to a clan surnamed Li in the southern city of Guangzhou). The Economist, "Ancestral longingsAs China rushes forward, more people seek their roots," 11 Jan. 2018 Day 3: Tokyo | Shuzenji Begin the morning with a stroll through the beautiful wooded grounds of Meiji Shrine, Tokyo's premier Shinto shrine. Scott Gilman, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Japan," 5 Oct. 2016 There’s a pleasant little shrine of Ganesh, draped in garlands of red and yellow roses, at the entrance. Mayukh Sen, Bon Appetit, "The Unshakeable Indian Restaurant I’ll Go Out of My Way to Visit," 6 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of shrine


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrine


Middle English, from Old English scrīn, from Latin scrinium case, chest

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shrine

Statistics for shrine

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shrine

The first known use of shrine was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shrine



English Language Learners Definition of shrine

: a place connected with a holy person or event where people go to worship

: a place that people visit because it is connected with someone or something that is important to them


\ˈshrīn \

Kids Definition of shrine

1 : a case or box for sacred relics (as the bones of saints)

2 : a place where people go to worship because of its connection to a holy person or event

3 : a place that is considered sacred or regarded with great respect The Lincoln Memorial is a shrine to all lovers of freedom.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on shrine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shrine

Spanish Central: Translation of shrine

Nglish: Translation of shrine for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on shrine

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


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!