1. a chair or seat, originally one capable of being folded, used by a bishop or other prelate when officiating in his own church away from his throne or in a church not his own.
  2. a movable folding stool or desk at which worshipers kneel during certain acts of devotion.
  3. such a stool placed at the south side of the altar, at which the kings or queens of England kneel at their coronation.
  4. a desk at which the litany is said or sung.

Origin of faldstool

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin faldistolium < West Germanic *faldistōl (compare Old High German faltistuol, late Old English fældestōl, fyldestōl); see fold1, stool; cf. fauteuil
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for faldstool

Historical Examples of faldstool

  • One is the Litany-desk, or faldstool,—as it is called in the Coronation Service.

  • Passing the chapel, the king caught sight of the Duchess Isabella at her faldstool.

    The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci

    Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky

  • In the intervals, angels seated on faldstool thrones, and bearing stars; also two popinjays.

    Needlework As Art

    Marian Alford

  • The chaplain knelt beneath the altar; and the Prince knelt down at the faldstool, the Duke beside him on the floor.

    Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories

    Arthur Christopher Benson

  • We see the husband and wife kneeling facing each other, with a faldstool before each figure.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

British Dictionary definitions for faldstool


  1. a backless seat, sometimes capable of being folded, used by bishops and certain other prelates

Word Origin for faldstool

C11 fyldestol, probably a translation of Medieval Latin faldistolium folding stool, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German faldstuol
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