Definition of reliquary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈreləˌkwerē/

noun (plural reliquaries)

A container for holy relics.
Example sentences
  • As the importance of saints and their relics increased, reliquaries and image-bearing objects, such as small statues, began to be placed upon the altar.
  • Thus, when the reliquary was exhibited from the outdoor pulpit on feast days sacred to the Virgin Mary, a strong visual bond between the reliquary and the church in which it was kept could be discerned.
  • The exhibition highlights aspects of Roman Catholic religious traditions and includes relics and reliquaries, religious artefacts, and an insight into the practices of the Sisters of Mercy.


Mid 16th century: from French reliquaire, from Old French relique (see relic).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rel·i·quar·y

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