from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A charm or amulet.
- n. Among the primitive Christians, etc., a case in which were inclosed relics of the saints.
- n. In Jewish antiquity, an amulet consisting of a strip or strips of parchment inscribed with certain texts from the Old Testament, and inclosed within a small leather case, which was fastened with straps on the forehead just above and between the eyes, or on the left arm near the region of the heart.
These characters, who have descended without interruption from a numerous family in the days of our Saviour, are here so accurately delineated – the very cut of the phylactery is so well observed – that we should reckon it one of the most useful parts of the present work, were it not for the strange concession which is made to them in the same breath.
This word comes from the Greek 'phulakterion,' guard's post, safeguard.