[ fi-lak-tuh-ree ]
/ fɪˈlæk tə ri /
Save This Word!

noun, plural phy·lac·ter·ies.

Judaism. either of two small, black, leather cubes containing a piece of parchment inscribed with verses 4–9 of Deuteronomy 6, 13–21 of Deuteronomy 11, and 1–16 of Exodus 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.



Set some time apart to test your bracket symbol knowledge, and see if you can keep your parentheses, squares, curlies, and angles all straight!
Question 1 of 7
Let’s start with some etymology: What are the origins of the typographical word “bracket”?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of phylactery

First recorded 1350–1400; from Late Latin phylactērium, from Greek phylaktḗrion “outpost, safeguard, amulet,” equivalent to phylak-, stem of phylássein “to protect, guard” + -tērion noun suffix denoting place; replacing Middle English philaterie, from Medieval Latin philatērium, for Late Latin, as above


phyl·ac·ter·ic [fil-ak-ter-ik], /ˌfɪl ækˈtɛr ɪk/, phyl·ac·ter·i·cal, adjectivephy·lac·ter·ied, adjective

Words nearby phylactery

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for phylactery

British Dictionary definitions for phylactery

/ (fɪˈlæktərɪ) /

noun plural -teries

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

C14: from Late Latin phylactērium, from Greek phulaktērion outpost, from phulax a guard
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
Book Your Online Tutor Now