• synonyms


  1. a pouch or case for some special purpose.
  2. (in Scotland)
    1. a fund to provide allowances for students.
    2. an allowance so provided.
  3. Ecclesiastical. a case or receptacle for a corporal.
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Origin of burse

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin bursa purse; see bursa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for burse

Historical Examples

  • The color of the chalice veil and the burse follows that of the season.

    The Worship of the Church

    Jacob A. Regester

  • The terms were afterwards often used indifferently, and Pisaro, just before, calls the Exchange the Burse.

  • The "burse" is a square, stiff pocket of silk over cardboard, in which the Altar-linen is carried to and from the Altar.

    The Worship of the Church

    Jacob A. Regester

  • Mass had been said not long since, and the chalice covered with the veil and burse was still on the altar.

  • When not in use both corporal and pall are carried in a square silken pocket called the burse.

British Dictionary definitions for burse


  1. mainly RC Church a flat case used at Mass as a container for the corporal
  2. Scot
    1. a fund providing allowances for students
    2. the allowance provided
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Word Origin

C19: from Medieval Latin bursa purse
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