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

  • n. A folding or small desk stool at which worshipers kneel to pray, especially one on which the British sovereign kneels at the time of coronation.
  • n. A folding chair or stool, especially one used by a bishop when not occupying the throne or when presiding away from the cathedral.
  • n. A desk at which the litany is recited.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A portable, folding chair used by a bishop when away from his throne
  • n. Any similar stool used in a divine service (such as a British coronation)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A folding stool, or portable seat, made to fold up in the manner of a camo stool. It was formerly placed in the choir for a bishop, when he offciated in any but his own cathedral church.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Formerly, a folding chair similar to a camp-stool, especially one used as a seat of honor and an ensign of authority, probably having this character from the ease with which such a seat could be carried with an army on the march, and could be set up when required.
  • n. Hence A seat having the form of the above, but not capable of being folded.
  • n. A folding stool, provided with a cushion, on which worshipers kneel during certain acts of devotion; especially, such a stool placed at the south side of the altar, at which the kings or queens of England kneel at their coronation.
  • n. A movable folding seat in a church or cathedral, used by a bishop or other prelate when officiating in his own church away from the throne, or in a church not under his jurisdiction.
  • n. A small desk in cathedrals, churches, etc., at which the litany is enjoined to be sung or said.


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

Partial translation of Medieval Latin faldistolium, folding stool, of Germanic origin; see pel-2 in Indo-European roots.


  • _ "Ah, then she felt very solemnly that she was Queen; and moving softly to a chair placed between the Chair of Homage and the altar, she knelt down on the" faldstool "before it, and meekly said her prayers.

    Queen Victoria, her girlhood and womanhood

  • Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pius XII, is seated upon the faldstool on the Epistle side.

    More Rare Images: Good Friday with Pius XI in the Sistine Chapel

  • Due to the small size of the parish church, the Bishop had to pontificate from the faldstool.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Mordred glanced once again at the sleeping women, propped Gaheris's blood-stained sword in a shadowed corner where a faldstool hid it from view, then went back into the queen's bedchamber and shut the door behind him.

    The Wicked Day

  • When the King had thus offered his oblation, he went to his chair set for him on the south side of the altar, and knelt at his faldstool, and the Litany commenced, which was read by two bishops, vested in copes, and kneeling at a faldstool above the steps of the theatre, on the middle of the east side; the choir read the responses.

    Coronation Anecdotes

  • Then the dean of Westminster laid the ampula and spoon upon the altar, and the King kneeling down at the faldstool, and the archbishop standing on the north side of the altar, said this prayer or blessing over him: --

    Coronation Anecdotes

  • The King having thus taken his oath, returned again at the chair; and kneeling at his faldstool, the archbishop begun the hymn Veni, Creator

    Coronation Anecdotes

  • The King sat down in his chair, placed in the midst of the area over against the altar, with the faldstool before it, wherein he was anointed.

    Coronation Anecdotes

  • As soon as this is begun, the queen rises from her faldstool, and, being supported by the two bishops, and attended as before, goes up to the theatre: as she approaches the king, she bows herself reverently to his majesty sitting upon his throne; and so is conducted to her own throne on the left hand of the king, where she reposes till the anthem is ended.

    Coronation Anecdotes

  • This being done, the queen arises and goes to the faldstool, between king Edward's chair and the steps of the altar, where the groom of the stole to her majesty, and the ladies of the bedchamber, take off her circle or coronet.

    Coronation Anecdotes


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