American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Roman Catholic Church A form of devotion to the Virgin Mary, chiefly consisting of three sets of five decades each of the Hail Mary, each decade preceded by the Lord's Prayer and ending with a doxology.
- n. Roman Catholic Church One of these sets of decades.
- n. Roman Catholic Church A string of beads of 5 or 15 decades on which these prayers are counted.
- n. Similar beads used by other religious groups.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A rose-garden.
- n. A rose-bush.
- n. A garland of roses; any garland; a chaplet.
- n. Hence, an anthology; a book culled from various authors, like a garland of flowers: formerly often given as a title to works of such a character.
- n. A string of beads carried about the person, either for mere pastime, as to occupy the fingers, or for reckoning, especially in numbering the prayers offered up at fixed times of the day. Mohammedans carry rosaries with them for both these purposes, wearing them in the girdle or carrying them in the hand at all hours of the day.
- n. Specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church: A series of devotions consisting of a specified number of aves (that is, salutations to the Virgin Mary), of paternosters (that is, repetitions of the Lord's Prayer), and of glorias (or doxologies).
- n. A string of beads of various sizes representing the same number of aves, paternosters, and glorias respectively, used for marking off these prayers. Each bead receives the name of the prayer it represents. The rosary is divided into decads of aves, each decad being preceded by a paternoster and followed by a gloria. The ordinary rosary, sometimes called the Dominican rosary, consists of fifteen decads—that is, of one hundred and fifty aves (corresponding to the number of psalms in the Psalter), fifteen paternosters, and fifteen glorias. In this rosary each decad is devoted to the contemplation of a mystery of the life of Christ, the first five being joyful mysteries (such as the annunciation and the nativity), the second five being the sorrowful mysteries (such as the passion), the third five being the glorious mysteries (such as the resurrection and ascension). This regular use of the rosary of one hundred and fifty aves was first instituted by St. Dominic (1170-1221), although the devotional use of beads, etc., was already familiar. The term rosary also applies to a similar instrument of devotion in use among the Greeks, Armenians, and other Eastern communions. See
- n. A string of eggs of a batrachian wound about the body or limbs, as of the nurse-frog or obstetrical toad, Alytes obstetricans. See cut under Alytes. E. D. Cope.
- n. A counterfeit coin of base metal, illegally introduced into England in the reign of Edward I. It probably bore a general resemblance to the silver penny or sterling current at the time, and may have derived its name from having a rose or rosette as part of its reverse type.
- n. A series of prayers, usually made up of five, fifteen, or twenty decades of Hail Marys, each decade beginning with Our Father and ending with a Glory Be to the Father, sometimes including other prayers used in Roman Catholicism, and the Anglican, Lutheran, and Old Catholic churches.
- n. A string of beads used in counting the prayers said in a rosary.
- n. this sense?) A string of beads used in praying by members of some religions or denominations other than Roman Catholicism such as the Anglican Church
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A bed of roses, or place where roses grow.
- n. (R.C.Ch.) A series of prayers (see Note below) arranged to be recited in order, on beads; also, a string of beads by which the prayers are counted.
- n. A chapelet; a garland; a series or collection, as of beautiful thoughts or of literary selections.
- n. A coin bearing the figure of a rose, fraudulently circulated in Ireland in the 13th century for a penny.
- n. a string of beads used in counting prayers (especially by Catholics)
- Middle English, rose garden, from Medieval Latin rosārium, rose garden, rosary, from Latin, rose garden, from neuter of rosārius, of roses, from rosa, rose. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Like the Sanskrit _mala_, the English word rosary at first meant a garland of roses and subsequently a string of beads, probably made from rose-wood, on which prayers were counted.”
“The rosary is a Biblical prayer method in which you meditate on events during the life of Jesus Christ while reciting certain commonly-known prayers --- two of which, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, are quotations from the Bible.”
“The rosary is a devotion that grew up and developed over time until it reached its current standard form.”
“I call the rosary a "miracle" rosary because all of the meditations deal with the miracles performed by Jesus both before and after his resurrection.”
“I call the rosary "ecumenical", since the prayers and "miracles" are either directly from the Bible or are derived from the Bible.”
“After a rosary is said by all, the Christ child, usually a life-size doll but occasionally a real baby, is placed on a bed of straw in the Inn. After midnight Mass, there's a fiesta with music, hot fruit punch, sugar cane, oranges, and candy.”
“Still, there must be no haggling; in ecclesiastical language 'ten' means ten beads; no doubt ... but I remember very well that after he pronounced the word rosary, the father expressed himself thus: 'you will say ten,' that means ten rosaries, for otherwise he would have specified ten ... of a rosary.”
“The name rosary, therefore, is well suited to this devotion.”
“The name rosary may be the subject of to-day's discourse.”
“According to Merriam - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the word rosary is derived from the Latin word rosarium, meaning rose garden, and has been a form of prayer - traditionally said with the aid of beads, since before the time of the Reformation.”
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