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

  • n. A hallowed or holy place.
  • n. A chapel for seafarers.
  • n. Chiefly British A Nonconformist chapel, especially a Baptist or Methodist one.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A holy place.
  • n. A chapel, especially one for sailors.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place of worship; a hallowed spot.
  • n. A chapel for dissenters.
  • n. A house of worship for seamen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A hallowed spot.
  • n. A name sometimes applied to a place of worship in England, especially to a dissenting chapel.
  • n. A church or chapel for seamen, whether located on shore or, as is often the case, afloat in a harbor.

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

  • n. a house of worship (especially one for sailors)


Hebrew bêt 'ēl, house of God : bayit, house; see byt in Semitic roots + 'ēl, God; see אl in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Hebrew house of God (Wiktionary)



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  • "By the time I was eleven I could read and write. Mr. Jamrach said he needed his boys to be able to write things down and read off lists. I was quick. Ma was impressed. "You clever boy, Jaf," she said when I read the posters plastered outside the seamen's bethel."
    Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch, p 40 of the Doubleday hardcover edition

    January 9, 2012