Definition of cella in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈselə/

noun (plural cellae /ˈselē/)

The inner area of an ancient temple, especially one housing the hidden cult image in a Greek or Roman temple.
Example sentences
  • Free-standing columns form a portico in the front area, whilst the cella is enveloped in embedded columns.
  • If we accept Walbank's theory, we may also have to assume that in the Roman period the cult statue of Apollo was moved from the eastern cella to the western in order to accommodate the cult of the Gens Iulia in the former.
  • Excavations between 1962 and 1971 revealed details of the temple layout which had an inner square cella surrounded by an ambulatory and an outer temenos wall.


Late 17th century: Latin, literally 'storeroom, shrine', from celare 'hide'. (See conceal).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cel·la

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