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noun, plural i·co·nos·ta·ses [ahy-kuh-nos-tuh-seez] /ˌaɪ kəˈnɒs təˌsiz/. Eastern Church.
  1. a partition or screen on which icons are placed, separating the sanctuary from the main part of the church.
Also i·con·o·stas [ahy-kon-uh-stas] /aɪˈkɒn əˌstæs/.

Origin of iconostasis

From Medieval Greek, dating back to 1825–35; see origin at icono-, stasis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for iconostasis

Historical Examples

  • This resembles the Greek iconostasis, the screen on which the “icons” or sacred pictures are placed.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 3


  • On the east is the Iconostasis, dividing the 'Holy of Holies' from the rest of the church.

  • In front of the iconostasis was an "Entombment," surrounded with young grass amid which little lamps shone.

    The Shores of the Adriatic

    F. Hamilton Jackson

  • The iconostasis is of the seventeenth century; the paintings are covered with silver plates.

    The Shores of the Adriatic

    F. Hamilton Jackson

  • At Easter time two processional crosses of silver and a Resurrection banner decorate the church outside the iconostasis.

    The Shores of the Adriatic

    F. Hamilton Jackson

British Dictionary definitions for iconostasis


iconostas (aɪˈkɒnəˌstæs)

noun plural iconostases (ˌaɪkəʊˈnɒstəˌsiːz, aɪˈkɒnəˌstæsɪz)
  1. Eastern Churches a screen with doors and icons set in tiers, which separates the bema (sanctuary) from the nave

Word Origin

C19: Church Latin, from Late Greek eikonostasion shrine, literally: area where images are placed, from icono- + histanai to stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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