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[mon-struh ns] /ˈmɒn strəns/
noun, Roman Catholic Church.
a receptacle in which the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration.
Also called ostensorium, ostensory.
Origin of monstrance
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin mōnstrantia, equivalent to mōnstr(āre) to show (see muster) + -antia -ance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for monstrance
Historical Examples
  • Also a monstrance of the same period with very elaborate and beautiful architectural ornament and figures of angels in adoration.

    The Shores of the Adriatic F. Hamilton Jackson
  • The archbishop fell to the ground, as did the lunette of the monstrance.

  • Then he bowed low to the monstrance on the altar, and lower still to the figure of the Virgin.

    The Serf Guy Thorne
  • You are thinking of the monstrance which should have been of gold but was of silver?

  • One who believes that an atom is a monstrance that conceals the Holy Ghost of Force.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • He walked up to the little altar to place the monstrance on it.

    The Forest Farm Peter Rosegger
  • Sunlight now falls on the monstrance in the church above, so that it shines like a window pane at sunset.

    The Road to Damascus August Strindberg
  • At this monstrance, still the pride of Portuguese art, Gil Vicente worked during three years (1503-6).

  • She held him out proudly in her arms, as if he were monstrance and she priest.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • The Church door is open, and at a certain moment the monstrance on the altar is visible in the light of the sun.

    The Road to Damascus August Strindberg
British Dictionary definitions for monstrance


(RC Church) a receptacle, usually of gold or silver, with a transparent container in which the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin mōnstrantia, from Latin mōnstrāre to show
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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