[ bee-muh ]

noun,plural be·ma·ta [bee-muh-tuh], /ˈbi mə tə/, be·mas.
  1. Eastern Church. the enclosed space surrounding the altar; the sanctuary or chancel.

  2. (in a Christian basilica) an open space between the end of the nave arcade and the apse.

  1. 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)

Words Nearby bema Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bema in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bema


bimah or bima

/ (ˈbiːmə) /

  1. the speaker's platform in the assembly in ancient Athens

  2. Eastern Orthodox Church a raised area surrounding the altar in a church; the sanctuary

  1. Judaism another word for almemar

Origin of 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