Definition of tabernacle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtabəˌnak(ə)l/


1(In biblical use) a fixed or movable dwelling, typically of light construction.
Example sentences
  • During this festival, the Hebrews dwelled in booths or tabernacles made of branches, which symbolized God's protection during their wilderness travels.
  • For God created the world, which he wished to prepare as a tabernacle for man; and, since he wanted to clothe himself in man, he fashioned him to his own image and likeness.
  • Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
1.1A tent used as a sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant by the Israelites during the Exodus and until the building of the Temple.
Example sentences
  • Leviticus is a rigorous laying out of the law especially in regard to the tabernacle, temple, and cultic practice.
  • In Old Testament times, blood from sacrificed animals was applied to certain vessels in the tabernacle or temple to make them holy for God's use.
  • He starts with the Bible, which includes the use of gold as adornment, the golden calf, and the detailed description of use of gold in sanctuary and tabernacle.
2A meeting place for worship used by Nonconformists or Mormons.
Example sentences
  • When I want consciousness expansion, I go to my local tabernacle and I sing!
  • Last night as we were getting ready to perform at the tabernacle in Atlanta, Daron was drinking miso broth, Laura was doing yogic stretches, and I was reading ‘The Economist.’
  • From 1741 Whitefield's London base was Moorfields tabernacle, with other tabernacles at Norwich, Bristol, and elsewhere.
3An ornamented receptacle or cabinet in which a pyx containing the reserved sacrament may be placed in Catholic churches, usually on or above an altar.
Example sentences
  • The enormous crucifix fixed on the wall behind the altar and above the golden tabernacle portrayed the death of Jesus Christ, the son of the Lord God, in a solemn and very sacred manner.
  • Jesus is present in a very real and powerful way in every church that reserves the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.
  • The only opposition comes from those who want to turn back the clock completely, spin the altar around, put the Mass back in Latin, enshrine the tabernacle on the altar, and reimpose the law of Friday abstinence.
3.1 archaic A canopied niche or recess in the wall of a church.
Example sentences
  • Above are four statues of the queen, set in elaborate canopied tabernacles.
  • The national statue of Our lady of Fatima was positioned in the small tabernacle in St. Mary's Church Croom for one week.
  • From 1412, Nanni di Banco's marble statue of Saint Philip filled the tabernacle.
4A partly open socket or double post on a sailing boat’s deck into which a mast is fixed, with a pivot near the top so that the mast can be lowered to pass under bridges.



Example sentences
  • The tabernacled canopy over the tomb of S. Sebaldus in Nuremberg is a mixture of Gothic and classicizing details.
  • An unusual feature is a well carved statue of the Virgin and Child, placed under a rich, tabernacled canopy on the east wall of nave.
  • He was portrayed standing under a tabernacled canopy consisting of three arches slightly pointed, surmounted by crocketed pediments.


Middle English: via French from Latin tabernaculum 'tent', diminutive of taberna 'hut, tavern'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tab¦er|nacle

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