from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A decorated platform or framework on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral.
- n. Roman Catholic Church A coffin-shaped structure draped with a pall, used to represent the corpse at a requiem Mass celebrated after the burial.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A platform used to display or convey a coffin during a funeral, often ornate.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A temporary structure sometimes used in the funeral solemnities of eminent persons, for the public exhibition of the remains, or their conveyance to the place of burial.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A stage or scaffolding, erected usually in the nave of a church, to support a coffin on the occasion of a ceremonious funeral.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a decorated bier on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral
French, from Italian catafalco.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French catafalque, from Italian catafalco, of unknown origin. Compare scaffold. (Wiktionary)