[ am-fer-uh ]
/ ˈæm fər ə /

noun, plural am·pho·rae [am-fuh-ree] /ˈæm fəˌri/, am·pho·ras. Greek and Roman Antiquity.

a large two-handled storage jar having an oval body, usually tapering to a point at the base, with a pair of handles extending from immediately below the lip to the shoulder: used chiefly for oil, wine, etc., and, set on a foot, as a commemorative vase awarded the victors in contests such as the Panathenaic games.


Nearby words

  1. amphogeny,
  2. ampholyte,
  3. ampholytic,
  4. amphophil,
  5. amphophilic,
  6. amphoric,
  7. amphoric rale,
  8. amphoric resonance,
  9. amphoriskos,
  10. amphoteric

Compare pelike, stamnos.

Origin of amphora

1300–50; Middle English < Latin < Greek amphoreús, equivalent to am(phi)- amphi- + phoreús bearer (i.e., handle), akin to phérein to bear

Related formsam·pho·ral, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amphorae

British Dictionary definitions for amphorae


/ (ˈæmfərə) /

noun plural -phorae (-fəˌriː) or -phoras

an ancient Greek or Roman two-handled narrow-necked jar for oil, wine, etc

Word Origin for amphora

C17: from Latin, from Greek amphoreus, from amphi- + phoreus bearer, from pherein to bear

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 amphorae



early 14c., "two-handled vessel for holding wine, oil, etc.," from Latin amphora from Greek amphoreus "an amphora, jar, urn," contraction of amphiphoreus, literally "two-handled," from amphi- "on both sides" (see amphi-) + phoreus "bearer," related to pherein "to bear" (see infer). Also a liquid measure in the ancient world, in Greece equal to 9 gallons, in Rome to 6 gallons, 7 pints.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper