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narthex definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: portico at the west end of an early Christian basilica or church
2: a vestibule leading to the nave of a church

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Late Greek narth?x, from Greek, giant fennel, cane, casket Date: circa 1673 1. the portico of an ancient church 2. a vestibule leading to the nave of a church

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a railed-off antechamber or porch etc. at the western entrance of some early Christian churches, used by catechumens, penitents, etc. 2 a similar antechamber in a modern church. Etymology: L f. Gk narthex giant fennel, stick, casket, narthex

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Narthex Nar"thex, n. [L., giant fennel, Gr. ?.] 1. (Bot.) A tall umbelliferous plant (Ferula communis). See Giant fennel, under Fennel. 2. (Arch.) The portico in front of ancient churches; sometimes, the atrium or outer court surrounded by ambulatories; -- used, generally, for any vestibule, lobby, or outer porch, leading to the nave of a church.



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