Share this entry

Share this page

narthex

Line breaks: nar|thex
Pronunciation: /ˈnɑːθɛks
 
/

Definition of narthex in English:

noun

1An antechamber, porch, or distinct area at the western entrance of some early Christian churches, separated off by a railing.
Example sentences
  • As soon they reached the narthex, a small antechamber built off of the western gate's wall, Rachel twisted the handle to the room, and the door groaned open.
  • Within, a lacquered bronze glazed screen divides nave from the narthex.
  • The structure continues a Spanish tradition in that, although it is by location a narthex placed at the west end of the church of San Isidoro, it has the character of a crypt and burial chamber.
1.1An antechamber or large porch in a modern church.
Example sentences
  • Christian glanced into the nave from the narthex, checking to make sure Elizabeth was all right.
  • 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.
  • The baptism begins at the narthex of the church, where the godparents speak for the child, renouncing Satan, blowing three times in the air, and spitting three times on the floor.

Origin

late 17th century: via Latin from Greek narthēx.

Definition of narthex in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…