noun, plural ro·sa·ries.
- a series of prayers, usually consisting of 15 decades of aves, each decade being preceded by a paternoster and followed by a Gloria Patri, one of the mysteries or events in the life of Christ or the Virgin Mary being recalled at each decade.
- a string of beads used for counting these prayers during their recitation.
- a similar string of beads consisting of five decades.
Examples from the Web for rosary
On Wednesday mornings before mass, he recites the rosary in a special prayer of liberation from the chains of the devil.
The parishioners began saying the Rosary as a call went in to 911.
The faithful were still saying the Rosary when the officers informed them that they had to leave.
Stigler pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in his flight jacket.
Maradona spent much of the game frantically gesticulating and clutching his rosary.
The Infant Saviour is turned towards her, and with one hand he crowns her with thorns, with the other he presents the rosary.Walks in Rome|Augustus J.C. Hare
A rosary of large pearls was about his neck, and with this exception he wore no ornaments.Confessions of a Thug|Philip Meadows Taylor
Some of Marie's "junk" was in his bag; her rosary lay in his breastpocket, along with the pin he had sent her at Christmas.The Street of Seven Stars|Mary Roberts Rinehart
We stooped at a great wooden cross, on which an officer's Rosary hung; and then I saw the birds.Behind the Scenes in Warring Germany|Edward Lyell Fox
Half led, half carried, I went staggering on beside him like a drunken man, clutching a rosary and a packet of love-letters.Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man|Marie Conway Oemler
British Dictionary definitions for rosary
noun plural -saries
- a series of prayers counted on a string of beads, usually consisting of five or 15 decades of Aves, each decade beginning with a Paternoster and ending with a Gloria
- a string of 55 or 165 beads used to count these prayers as they are recited
Word Origin for rosary
Word Origin and History for rosary
"rose garden," mid-15c., from Latin rosarium "rose garden," in Medieval Latin also "garland; string of beads; series of prayers," from noun use of neuter of rosarius "of roses," from rosa "rose" (see rose (n.1)).
The sense of "series of prayers" is 1540s, from Middle French rosaire, a figurative use of the word meaning "rose garden," on the notion of a "garden" of prayers. This probably embodies the medieval conceit of comparing collections to bouquets (cf. anthology and Medieval Latin hortulus animae "prayerbook," literally "little garden of the soul"). Sense transferred 1590s to the strings of beads used as a memory aid in reciting the rosary.
Medicine definitions for rosary
Culture definitions for rosary
A set of prayers common in the Roman Catholic Church, said during meditation on events in the lives of Jesus and of Mary, the mother of Jesus. A rosary is also the string of beads that the worshiper uses to count the prayers.