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[aw-fer-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, of-er-]
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noun, plural of·fer·to·ries.
  1. (sometimes initial capital letter) the offering of the unconsecrated elements that is made to God by the celebrant in a Eucharistic service.
  2. Ecclesiastical.
    1. the verses, anthem, or music said, sung, or played while the offerings of the people are received at a religious service.
    2. that part of a service at which offerings are made.
    3. the offerings themselves.
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Origin of offertory

1350–1400; Middle English offertorie < Medieval Latin offertōrium place to which offerings are brought, offering, oblation, equivalent to Latin offer(re) (see offer) + -tōrium -tory2; cf. oblation
Related formsof·fer·to·ri·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for offertory

Historical Examples

  • When, after the offertory, Pierre uncovered the chalice he felt contempt for himself.

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • The Offertory having been recited, the priest uncovered the chalice.

  • It would be like putting bad money into the offertory to put me into that holy work.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • But when the Offertory was reached, matters suddenly quickened.

  • He sang an Offertory solo, accompanying himself on the harmonium.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

British Dictionary definitions for offertory


noun plural -tories
  1. the oblation of the bread and wine at the Eucharist
  2. the offerings of the worshippers at this service
  3. the prayers said or sung while the worshippers' offerings are being received
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Word Origin

C14: from Church Latin offertōrium place appointed for offerings, from Latin offerre to offer
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

Word Origin and History for offertory


"the part of a Mass at which offerings are made," late 14c., from Medieval Latin offertorium "place where offerings are brought," from Vulgar Latin offertus, corresponding to Latin oblatus, past participle of offerre (see offer (v.)). Meaning "part of a religious service" is first recorded 1530s; sense of "collection of money" is from 1862.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper