- Judaism. either of two small, black, leather cubes containing a piece of parchment inscribed with verses 4–9 of Deut. 6, 13–21 of Deut. 11, and 1–16 of Ex. 13: one is attached with straps to the left arm and the other to the forehead during weekday morning prayers by Orthodox and Conservative Jewish men.
- (in the early Christian church) a receptacle containing a holy relic.
- an amulet, charm, or safeguard against harm or danger.
Origin of phylactery
Examples from the Web for phylactery
Historical Examples of phylactery
There is no phylactery against the poor opinion of one's grandchildren.The Book of This and That
"Entertainment for Pilgrims" ought to be bound round it as a sort of phylactery.Heriot's Choice
Rosa Nouchette Carey
Another 'phylactery' consisted of a tiny bag of hoddentin, holding a small quartz crystal and four feathers of eagle-down.The Myths of the North American Indians
Philemo once asked Rabbi (the Holy), "If a man has two heads, on which is he to put the phylactery?"
This phylactery, itself "medicine," may be employed to enwrap other "medicine" and thus augment its own potentiality.
- Also called: Tefillah Judaism (usually plural) either of the pair of blackened square cases containing parchments inscribed with biblical passages, bound by leather thongs to the head and left arm, and worn by Jewish men during weekday morning prayers
- a reminder or aid to remembering
- archaic an amulet or charm
Word Origin for phylactery
late 14c., "small leathern box containing four Old Testament texts," from Old French filatiere (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin philaterium, from Late Latin phylacterium "reliquary," from Greek phylacterion "safeguard, amulet," noun use of neuter of adjective phylakterios "serving as a protection," from phylakter "watcher, guard," from phylassein "to guard or ward off," from phylax (genitive phylakos) "guard," of unknown origin. Sometimes worn on the forehead, based on a literal reading of scripture:
Ye shall bind them [my words] for a sign upon your hands, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. [Deut. xi:18]