Definitions

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

  • A hill outside ancient Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified.
  • n. A sculptured depiction of the Crucifixion.
  • n. A great ordeal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The hill outside Jerusalem which is traditionally held to be the location of the crucifixion of Jesus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The place where Christ was crucified, on a small hill outside of Jerusalem.
  • n. A representation of the crucifixion, consisting of three crosses with the figures of Christ and the thieves, often as large as life, and sometimes surrounded by figures of other personages who were present at the crucifixion.
  • n. A cross, set upon three steps; -- more properly called cross calvary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A place of skulls; Golgotha; specifically, the place where Christ was crucified.
  • n. [lowercase] In Roman Catholic countries, a representation of the passion of Christ, often of life-size, erected sometimes on a hill near a city, sometimes near a church or in a churchyard, and sometimes in a chapel.
  • n. [lowercase] A rocky mound or hill on which three crosses are erected: an adjunct to some religious houses.

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

  • n. a hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified
  • n. any experience that causes intense suffering

Etymologies

French calvaire, from Calvaire, Calvary (hill). Sense 2, from Calvary 1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin calvāria ("skull") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Into one wherein we went this morning was what they called a Calvary: a horrible, ghastly image of a Christ in a tomb, the figure of the natural size, and of the livid color of death; gaping red wounds on the body and round the brows: the whole piece enough to turn one sick, and fit only to brutalize the beholder of it.

    Little Travels and Roadside Sketches

  • After his death on March 7, 1940, his body was returned to California for burial in Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles.

    Markham house at Preservation Park, San Jose

  • Nobody took horses into battle, even 20 years later -- maybe a few Calvary from the Russians or something, so we could change.

    CNN Transcript Jan 31, 2007

  • It called Calvary, the hill where Jesus agonized, “The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land.”

    CLEAR PICTURES

  • The Latin word for skull is calvaria, and Golgotha is called Calvary in the Douay Bible.

    A Handbook of Symbols in Christian Art

  • The name Calvary or Golgotha probably indicates that the spot was a skull-like knoll; but there is no reason to think that it was a hill of the size supposed by designating it

    The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ A Devotional History of our Lord's Passion

  • How this woman's life evolved from serving wench to mother of the Roman Emperor, including her conversion to Christianity when being a Christian carried a death sentence, the finding of the True Cross under three centuries of debris, her association with the construction workers who were assisting her in building a church at Calvary is the fascinating story of Santa Elena, which can be found in Mexico Connect at SANTA ELENA, DISCOVERER OF THE HOLY CROSS

    The Day Of The Holy Cross - May 3rd

  • Of course, the Calvary is a different story - but the puzzle of why such uniformity in other scenes remains.

    Michael Brenner: Portraying Jesus and Mary

  • He was arrested by Rome in the Garden of Gethsemane, put on trial, falsely accused, and, in a matter of hours, was brutally murdered by the Roman government at the place called Calvary as an insurrectionist too dangerous to live.

    Can America Survive?

  • This brings me to the point I want you to see regarding what happened on the hill called Calvary.

    FROM THE CROSS TO PENTECOST

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