Definition of apse in English:


Line breaks: apse


  • 1A large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof and typically at the church’s eastern end.
    More example sentences
    • They were seated at the midpoint of the nave, with us facing them backward, that is, toward the narthex rather than the apse of the cathedral.
    • A number of buildings, at Vindolanda, South Shields, Housesteads and Birdoswald, have been claimed as Christian churches, largely on account of their having semi-circular apses.
    • Inside is a nave surmounted by a generous barrel vault supported by large but simple columns and flanked by side aisles; a transept separates the nave from a central apse behind the altar.
  • 2 another term for apsis.
    More example sentences
    • Further, it should be stated that the assumption is negatived by the movement of the moon's apse.
    • Moreover, the progression of the Moon's apse, thus determined by Newton, is but half its true amount.
    • A break-down of the secular rates of motion of the lunar orbit's apse and line of nodes, taken from Brown's lunar theory, is instructive in this respect.



Pronunciation: /ˈapsɪd(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • The apsidal hall has a small tower over its end to give the appearance of height.
  • He also rounded the projecting east wing, giving it an apsidal configuration.
  • The distribution of finds within the buildings suggests that the area furthest from the entrance, in one of the apsidal ends, was the living area, with a hearth in the middle separating it from the sleeping quarters.


early 19th century (in sense 2): from Latin apsis (see apsis).

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a slit made by cutting with a saw