Definition: Shrine

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From Middle English shryne, from Old English scrīn (reliquary, ark of the covenant), from Medieval Latin scrīnium (reliquary, case or chest for books or papers in Classical Latin. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, bend). Compare Old Norse skrín, Old High German skrīni (German Schrein).


shrine (plural shrines)

  1. A holy or sacred place dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, or similar figure of awe and respect, at which said figure is venerated or worshiped.
    They built a shrine to the Virgin Mary.
  2. A case, box, or receptacle, especially one in which sacred relics, as the bones of a saint, are deposited.
  3. A place or object hallowed from its history or associations.
    Our local museum is considered by many to be a shrine of art.

Derived terms

  • ancestral shrine
  • enshrine
  • shrinal
  • shrinegoer
  • shrineless
  • shrinelike


shrine (third-person singular simple present shrines, present participle shrining, simple past and past participle shrined)

  1. To enshrine; to place reverently, as if in a shrine.


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