- 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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bema
The bema and the two lateral chapels have cross-groined vaults.Byzantine Churches in Constantinople
Alexander Van Millingen
Twice I went to the bema and spoke to those priests and that mangy rabble.Let us follow Him
In Greece the bema was the general name of any raised platform.
To accommodate the people and to enjoy the repose of midday, Roman governors, Suetonius tells us, mounted the bema at sunrise.The Trial of Jesus from a Lawyer's Standpoint, Vol. II (of II)
Walter M. Chandler
Still it rejoiced him to hear the noble truths of democracy delivered as it were from the bema.Demos
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
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