tab·​er·​na·​cle | \ ˈta-bər-ˌna-kəl How to pronounce tabernacle (audio) \

Definition of tabernacle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a house of worship specifically : a large building or tent used for evangelistic services
2 : a receptacle for the consecrated elements of the Eucharist especially : an ornamental locked box used for reserving the Communion hosts
3a often capitalized : a tent sanctuary used by the Israelites during the Exodus
b archaic : a dwelling place
c archaic : a temporary shelter : tent


tabernacled; tabernacling\ ˈta-​bər-​ˌna-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tabernacle (audio) \

Definition of tabernacle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to take up temporary residence especially : to inhabit a physical body

Other Words from tabernacle


tabernacular \ ˌta-​bər-​ˈna-​kyə-​lər How to pronounce tabernacle (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for tabernacle

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of tabernacle in a Sentence

Noun worshippers gathering at the Baptist tabernacle on a bright Sunday morning
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Later a religious sister explained to her that Catholics believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, in the tabernacle. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 Corbett lit a candle all eight days and featured the menorah by the tabernacle. Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2021 The heritage commission also authorized cathedral administrators to rearrange the tabernacle and other items to create more room for visitors. New York Times, 10 Dec. 2021 The early population was about 500, which swelled to between 3,000 and 4,000 as people came north for the revivals held a large tabernacle. Daniel I. Dorfman,, 29 Sep. 2021 On one memorable evening when O’Brien was in the seventh or eighth grade, his Catholic choir was invited to participate in an interfaith event at the Latter-day Saint tabernacle in Ogden. The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Aug. 2021 Three days later, the choir and orchestra performed at two memorial services in the tabernacle, conducted by the church’s First Presidency, to coincide with a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 July 2021 The old tabernacle turned temple is still the focal point of downtown. The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Dec. 2020 For comparison's sake: This is the same bible that included my Torah portion, Bamidbar, which was literally just about counting tribes around a sacred tabernacle. David Oliver, USA TODAY, 10 Dec. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of tabernacle


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1653, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tabernacle


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin tabernaculum, from Latin, tent, from taberna hut

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Time Traveler for tabernacle

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The first known use of tabernacle was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

18 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tabernacle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tabernacle


tab·​er·​na·​cle | \ ˈta-bər-ˌna-kəl How to pronounce tabernacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of tabernacle

1 : a place of worship
2 often capitalized : a tent used as a place of worship by the ancient Israelites during their wanderings in the wilderness with Moses

More from Merriam-Webster on tabernacle

Nglish: Translation of tabernacle for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about tabernacle


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