from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A place of religious devotion or commemoration, such as.
  • noun a place where devotion is paid to a deity or deities, as in Shinto.
  • noun the tomb of a saint or other venerated person.
  • noun a location where an important event in the life of a holy person is thought to have occurred.
  • noun A container or receptacle for sacred relics; a reliquary.
  • noun A site hallowed by association with a revered person or object or with an important event.
  • transitive verb To enshrine.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To place in a shrine; enshrine; hence, figuratively, to deify or canonize.
  • To inclose in something suggestive of the great preciousness of what is inclosed: as, the jewel was shrined in a velvet casket.
  • noun A box; an ark; a chest.
  • noun A box for holding the bones of saints or other sacred relics; a reliquary.
  • noun Hence A tomb of a canonized or other sacred person; the mausoleum of a saint; a tomb of shrine-like configuration.
  • noun An altar, small chapel or temple, or other sacred object or place peculiarly consecrated to and supposed to be hallowed by the presence of some deity, saint, mythological hero, or other personality reputed sacred. See cut on following page, and cut under octastyle.
  • noun Erroneously, an image.
  • noun Metaphorically, a thing or place hallowed and consecrated by its history or past associations, or supposed to be the incarnation of some object of worship.
  • noun A charnel-house.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A case, box, or receptacle, especially one in which are deposited sacred relics, as the bones of a saint.
  • noun Any sacred place, as an altar, tromb, or the like.
  • noun A place or object hallowed from its history or associations.
  • noun Short for Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a secret fraternal organization professedly originated by one Kalif Alu, a son-in-law of Mohammed, at Mecca, in the year of the Hegira 25 (about 646 a. d.) In the modern order, established in the United States in 1872, only Knights Templars or thirty-second degree Masons are eligible for admission, though the order itself is not Masonic. A member of the order is popularly called a Shriner, and the order itself is sometimes called the Shriners.
  • transitive verb To enshrine; to place reverently, as in a shrine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, or similar figure of awe and respect, at which said figure is venerated or worshipped.
  • verb To enshrine; to place reverently, as if in a shrine.

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

  • noun a place of worship hallowed by association with some sacred thing or person
  • verb enclose in a shrine


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

[Middle English, from Old English scrīn, box, from Latin scrīnium, case for books or papers.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English shryne, from Old English scrīn “reliquary, ark of the covenant”, from Latin scrinium “case or chest for books or papers”. Of unknown origin. Compare Old Norse skrin, Old High German skrini


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word shrine.



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