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from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. the cover for an altar in a Christian church, usually richly embroidered.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cover for an altar in a Christian church.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But he carried off with him, nevertheless, one of the handsomest mantles, which, instead of selling it, he converted cleverly enough into an altar-cloth; and for several years afterwards, the communion at Northam was celebrated upon a blaze of emerald, azure, and crimson, which had once adorned the sinful body of some Aztec prince.

    Westward Ho!

  • “I shall have that golden robe,” thought Nanon, who went to sleep tricked out in her altar-cloth, dreaming for the first time in her life of flowers, embroidery, and damask, just as

    Eug�nie Grandet

  • Madame de Florac: and when they went downstairs and had their work before them — Liddy her gilt music-book, Lizzy her embroidered altar-cloth, mamma her scarlet cloak for one of the old women — they had the agony of seeing the barouche over the railings whisk by, with the Park people inside, and Barnes driving the four horses.

    The Newcomes

  • “But for Saint Dunstan?” said the Friar — “A cope, a stole, and an altar-cloth shalt thou also have,” continued the King, crossing himself — “But we may not turn our game into earnest, lest God punish us for thinking more on our follies than on his honour and worship.”


  • When she re-entered the tomb, Warrick had already gotten the altar-cloth laid out on the ground, and had lit candles and stuck them wherever he could, to save the batteries on the torch.

    Phoenix And Ashes

  • The four of them bent as one to secure their candles in saucers at the four edges of the altar-cloth, then rose again.

    Phoenix And Ashes

  • I had especially thought out everything in connection with the principal characters: a magnificently fanatical harlot who had sinned in the temple, not from weakness or desire, but for hate against heaven; sinner right at the foot of the altar, with the altar-cloth under her head, just out of delicious contempt for heaven.


  • The presence of women in the castle had already made some changes in the furnishings of the chapel, by the provision of an embroidered altar-cloth, and the addition of a green-cushioned prie-dieu for the empress's use.

    Brother Cadfael's Penance

  • Robin turned away, sickened, as blood sprayed across the white altar-cloth, and the man collapsed with a gurgling cry.

    The Robin And The Kestrel

  • All Cadfael could see of the quarry was a thin arm and a fist hardly bigger than a child's, that reached out of the chaos to grip the edge of the altar-cloth with life-and-death desperation.

    The Sanctuary Sparrow


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