from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Roman Catholic Church A receptacle in which the host is held. Also called ostensorium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ornamental, often precious receptacle, either open or with a transparent cover, in which the consecrated host is placed for veneration.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A transparent pyx, in which the consecrated host is exposed to view.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, originally, any receptacle in which sacred relics were held up to view; after the fourteenth century, restricted to the transparent or glass-faced shrine in which the consecrated host is presented for the adoration of the people, either while being carried in procession or when exposed on the altar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. proof by a process of argument or a series of proposition proving an asserted conclusion
  • n. (Roman Catholic Church) a vessel (usually of gold or silver) in which the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin mōnstrantia, from Latin mōnstrāns, mōnstrant-, present participle of mōnstrāre, to show, from mōnstrum, portent, monster; see monster.



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  • ourstrance

    March 13, 2013

  • See also: ostensorium.

    December 7, 2007

  • Depending on what parish you find yourself in, some of them actually are a bit monstrous. ;->

    February 16, 2007

  • In Catholic school many of us enjoyed provoking the sisters by mispronouncing the monstrance, the great gold thing that holds the host, as "the monstrous." Yes, many of us were a bit evil.

    February 16, 2007