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View synonyms for altar

altar

[ awl-ter ]

noun

  1. an elevated place or structure, as a mound or platform at which religious rites are performed or on which sacrifices are offered to gods, ancestors, etc.
  2. Ecclesiastical. communion table.
  3. Altar, Astronomy. the constellation Ara.
  4. (in a dry dock) a ledge for supporting the feet of shorings.


altar

/ ˈɔːltə /

noun

  1. a raised place or structure where sacrifices are offered and religious rites performed
  2. (in Christian churches) the communion table
  3. a step in the wall of a dry dock upon which structures supporting a vessel can stand
  4. lead to the altar informal.
    to marry


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Word History and Origins

Origin of altar1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English alter, altar, auter, Old English altar, altare, alter; (compare Middle Dutch outaer, Old Saxon, Old Norse altari, Old High German altāri ), from Latin altāria (the more frequently used plural of altāre used in a singular sense), of disputed origin and formation, but probably akin to Latin adolēre “to make a burnt offering, cremate,” Umbrian uřetu “let it burn, set incense on the fire”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of altar1

Old English, from Latin altāria (plural) altar, from altus high
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Idioms and Phrases

Idioms
  1. lead to the altar, to marry:

    After a five-year courtship, he led her to the altar.

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Example Sentences

So as we cook, our kitchens can become temples and our pantries can transform into altars, which opens our space for the feelings, emotions, memories and questions that arise.

From Eater

Yet at the same time, her refusal to sacrifice her personal life at the altar of her career flouts many of the old “rules” for getting to the top.

From Fortune

Under normal circumstances, my family’s Chuseok celebrations are mostly focused on the food and gathering aspects — but still, we’re hit with the realization that those we love could one day be a name before an altar of food we set.

From Eater

It also held a large, flat stone like an altar, with traces of human and animal blood.

As you drink your coffee you guide your mind back to the opera, the cross-dressing Cain and Abel, the upside-down altar.

In a show about single women, Sex and The City was always in a rush to get to the altar—and with a man there waiting.

They might be surprised how much money they would save on altar bread.

When Jack was lying on the altar with the stones, that was really hard for me because I got a bit giggly.

He embraces her and, in a fit of demented anger and frustration, sexually assaults her against the altar of their dead son.

The Kingslayer shoves her against the altar of their dead son, and then to the ground beside it.

Ramona had covered the box with white cloth, and the lace altar-cloth thrown over it fell in folds to the floor.

After a few seconds Ramona rose, went into the house, brought out the white altar-cloth, and laid it over the mutilated face.

And one of the seraphims flew to me, and in his hand was a live coal, which he had taken with the tongs off the altar.

In return, each of the priests placed an image of Buddha on a tree-root, turning it into an altar.

Inside its darkened walls a single monk chanted his monotonous prayer before an altar.

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Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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