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90s Slang You Should Know

altar rail

the rail in front of an altar, separating the sanctuary from those parts of the church that are in front of it.
Origin of altar rail
First recorded in 1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for altar rail
Historical Examples
  • The altar rail of the restored Santa Clara church was made from the beams of the old Mission.

  • You intend to separate them at the church door—perhaps at the altar rail.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • Near the pulpit there was more light falling upon the dejected figures of the penitents clinging to the altar rail.

    A Circuit Rider's Wife Corra Harris
  • Inside the altar rail stood a strange clergyman with his book open.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • Snake climbed over the altar rail, and then helped her over.

    The Jewels of Aptor Samuel R. Delany
  • The procession reached the altar rail, and the coffin was put down.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • From the altar rail to the middle of the aisle the church was crowded—in the free as well as in the paying parts.

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • She was standing by the font staring at some one who kneeled at the altar rail.

    Rewards and Fairies Rudyard Kipling
  • Margaret, feeling more and more sick and faint, held by the altar rail while they were talking.

  • We had a nice altar, with the legal ornaments, and an altar rail.

    The Great War As I Saw It Frederick George Scott

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