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[pey-ter-nos-ter, pah‐, pat-er‐] /ˈpeɪ tərˈnɒs tər, ˈpɑ‐, ˈpæt ər‐/
(often initial capital letter). Also, Pater Noster. the Lord's Prayer, especially in the Latin form.
a recitation of this prayer as an act of worship.
one of certain beads in a rosary, regularly every 11th bead, differing in size or material from the rest and indicating that the Lord's Prayer is to be said.
any fixed recital of words used as a prayer or magical charm.
a doorless, continuously moving elevator for passengers or goods, having numerous platforms or compartments that rise or descend on a moving chain.
(initial capital letter) Architecture. pearl molding.
Origin of paternoster
before 1000; Middle English, Old English: Lord's prayer < Latin pater noster our father, its first two words in the Vulgate (Matthew VI: 9

pearl molding

noun, Architecture.
a molding having the form of a row of pearls.
Also called bead molding, Paternoster. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for paternoster
Historical Examples
  • But in the earl's house in paternoster Row he was merely a counsellor learned in the law, not a judge.

    A Book About Lawyers John Cordy Jeaffreson
  • paternoster rises sheer from the water to a height of more than 900 feet.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • Then to paternoster Row to buy things for my wife against her going.

  • I will say my paternoster in English with anybody, and my Belief too, for that matter.

    In the Days of Drake J. S. Fletcher
  • The exhortation was usually followed by a loud saying of a paternoster and a "Hail Mary" by all present.

    Tyrol and its People Clive Holland
  • She had not been able to pray; ave and paternoster alike had failed her.

    Remember the Alamo Amelia E. Barr
  • Some of the buildings of the present hall are still let to paternoster Row booksellers as warehouses.

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
  • Such a bill as came in this week past from a silkman in paternoster Row!

    It Might Have Been Emily Sarah Holt
  • They had scarcely sat down long enough to say half a paternoster when a messenger came and called the head cook to the duke.

  • Mary then left the room, in the time required to say a paternoster.

British Dictionary definitions for paternoster


(RC Church) the beads at the ends of each decade of the rosary marking the points at which the Paternoster is recited
any fixed form of words used as a prayer or charm
Also called paternoster line. a type of fishing tackle in which short lines and hooks are attached at intervals to the main line
a type of lift in which platforms are attached to continuous chains. The lift does not stop at each floor but passengers enter while it is moving
Word Origin
Latin, literally: our father (from the opening of the Lord's Prayer)


noun (sometimes not capital) (RC Church)
the Lord's Prayer, esp in Latin
the recital of this as an act of devotion
Word Origin
see paternoster
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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Word Origin and History for paternoster

"the Lord's Prayer," Old English Pater Noster, from Latin pater noster "our father," first words of the Lord's Prayer in Latin. Meaning "set of rosary beads" first recorded mid-13c. Paternoster Row, near St. Paul's in London (similarly named streets are found in other cathedral cities), reflects the once-important industry of rosary bead-making.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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