Definitions

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

  • n. The inner room or sanctuary of an ancient Greek or Roman temple, in which the statue of the god was situated.
  • n. In Byzantine architecture, the area of a centrally planned church in which the liturgy is performed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The part enclosed within the walls of an ancient temple, as distinguished from the open porticos.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The part inclosed within the walls of an ancient temple, as distinguished from the open porticoes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The room or chamber which formed the nucleus of an ancient Greek or Roman temple and contained the image of the deity, as distinguished from the additional rooms, porticos, etc., often combined with the cella to form the complete temple.
  • n. In anat., biol., and zoology, a cell; a cellula.
  • n. A hole or hollow formed at the foot of a waterfall or rapid by the continued action of the water.

Etymologies

Latin; see kel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin (Wiktionary)

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