noun, plural be·ma·ta [bee-muh-tuh] /ˈbi mə tə/, be·mas.

Eastern Church. the enclosed space surrounding the altar; the sanctuary or chancel.
(in a Christian basilica) an open space between the end of the nave arcade and the apse.
a platform for public speaking.

Origin of bema

1675–85; < Greek bêma step, platform, equivalent to bē- (verbid stem of baínein to step, go; see come) + -ma (noun suffix denoting result of action) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bema

Historical Examples of bema

British Dictionary definitions for bema


bimah or bima


the speaker's platform in the assembly in ancient Athens
Eastern Orthodox Church a raised area surrounding the altar in a church; the sanctuary
Judaism another word for almemar

Word Origin for bema

C17: via Late Latin, from Greek bēma, from bainein to go
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