noun, plural rel·i·quar·ies.

a repository or receptacle for relics.

Origin of reliquary

1650–60; < Middle French reliquaire < Medieval Latin reliquiārium, equivalent to Latin reliqui(ae) remains (see relic) + -ārium -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reliquary

Contemporary Examples of reliquary

  • Every January 1, the priest would lead a procession with the relic and its 18th-century reliquary.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Happy Holy Circumcision Day!

    David Farley

    December 31, 2009

  • Father Thomas Michelet, having accompanied the reliquary from Sainte-Baume to New York, was surprised by the turnout.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Mary Magdalene and Me

    Tracy Quan

    November 10, 2009

Historical Examples of reliquary

British Dictionary definitions for reliquary


noun plural -quaries

a receptacle or repository for relics, esp relics of saints

Word Origin for reliquary

C17: from Old French reliquaire, from relique relic
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 reliquary

"receptacle for keeping relics," 1650s, from French reliquaire (14c.), from relique (see relic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper