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noun, plural rel·i·quar·ies.
  1. a repository or receptacle for relics.

Origin of reliquary

1650–60; < Middle French reliquaire < Medieval Latin reliquiārium, equivalent to Latin reliqui(ae) remains (see relic) + -ārium -ary
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British Dictionary definitions for reliquary


noun plural -quaries
  1. a receptacle or repository for relics, esp relics of saints

Word Origin

C17: from Old French reliquaire, from relique relic
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

Word Origin and History for reliquary


"receptacle for keeping relics," 1650s, from French reliquaire (14c.), from relique (see relic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper