from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the cover for an altar in a Christian church, usually richly embroidered.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cover for an altar in a Christian church.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But he carried off with him, nevertheless, one of the handsomest mantles, which, instead of selling it, he converted cleverly enough into an altar-cloth; and for several years afterwards, the communion at Northam was celebrated upon a blaze of emerald, azure, and crimson, which had once adorned the sinful body of some Aztec prince.
“I shall have that golden robe,” thought Nanon, who went to sleep tricked out in her altar-cloth, dreaming for the first time in her life of flowers, embroidery, and damask, just as
Madame de Florac: and when they went downstairs and had their work before them — Liddy her gilt music-book, Lizzy her embroidered altar-cloth, mamma her scarlet cloak for one of the old women — they had the agony of seeing the barouche over the railings whisk by, with the Park people inside, and Barnes driving the four horses.
“But for Saint Dunstan?” said the Friar — “A cope, a stole, and an altar-cloth shalt thou also have,” continued the King, crossing himself — “But we may not turn our game into earnest, lest God punish us for thinking more on our follies than on his honour and worship.”
When she re-entered the tomb, Warrick had already gotten the altar-cloth laid out on the ground, and had lit candles and stuck them wherever he could, to save the batteries on the torch.
The four of them bent as one to secure their candles in saucers at the four edges of the altar-cloth, then rose again.
I had especially thought out everything in connection with the principal characters: a magnificently fanatical harlot who had sinned in the temple, not from weakness or desire, but for hate against heaven; sinner right at the foot of the altar, with the altar-cloth under her head, just out of delicious contempt for heaven.
The presence of women in the castle had already made some changes in the furnishings of the chapel, by the provision of an embroidered altar-cloth, and the addition of a green-cushioned prie-dieu for the empress's use.
Robin turned away, sickened, as blood sprayed across the white altar-cloth, and the man collapsed with a gurgling cry.
All Cadfael could see of the quarry was a thin arm and a fist hardly bigger than a child's, that reached out of the chaos to grip the edge of the altar-cloth with life-and-death desperation.
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