from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A raised step near the base of a Christian altar.
  • n. A series of carvings or paintings on this step, often forming a narrative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The step, or raised secondary part, of an altar; a superaltar; hence, in Italian painting, a band or frieze of several pictures running along the front of a superaltar, or forming a border or frame at the foot of an altarpiece.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as gradino.


Italian (Wiktionary)



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  • 1 a step or platform on which an altar is placed.
    2 a raised shelf above an altar.
    • a painting or sculpture on this, typically forming an appendage to an altarpiece.
    ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Italian, literally ‘stool.’

    (New Oxford American Dictionary)

    June 7, 2009