• synonyms


[mon-struh ns]
noun Roman Catholic Church.
  1. a receptacle in which the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration.
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Origin of monstrance

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin mōnstrantia, equivalent to mōnstr(āre) to show (see muster) + -antia -ance
Also called ostensorium, ostensory.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for monstrance

Historical Examples

  • She held him out proudly in her arms, as if he were monstrance and she priest.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • The archbishop fell to the ground, as did the lunette of the monstrance.

  • You are thinking of the monstrance which should have been of gold but was of silver?

  • He walked up to the little altar to place the monstrance on it.

    The Forest Farm

    Peter Rosegger

  • Then he bowed low to the monstrance on the altar, and lower still to the figure of the Virgin.

    The Serf

    Guy Thorne

British Dictionary definitions for monstrance


  1. RC Church a receptacle, usually of gold or silver, with a transparent container in which the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration
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Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin mōnstrantia, from Latin mōnstrāre to show
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