Definitions

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.

Etymologies

Italian (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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