- a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state.
- a hearse.
Origin of catafalque
Examples from the Web for catafalque
Prepare the catafalque in St. Martin's church, and place it before the altar!A Word Only A Word, Complete
The catafalque bore a notice to the effect that he had abjured heresy.Mysteries of Police and Crime
Then he rose, as pale as death, and walked up the steps of the catafalque.
Boris could not imagine how any human being could sleep in such a catafalque.The Precipice
The whole appearance of the catafalque was tasteful and elegant.The Life and Public Services of James A. Garfield
Emma Elizabeth Brown
- a temporary raised platform on which a body lies in state before or during a funeral
Word Origin and History for catafalque
1640s, from French catafalque (17c.), from Italian catafalco "scaffold," from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum, from Greek kata- "down" (see cata-), used in Medieval Latin with a sense of "beside, alongside" + fala "scaffolding, wooden siege tower," a word said to be of Etruscan origin. The Medieval Latin word also yielded Old French chaffaut, chafaud (Modern French échafaud) "scaffold."