from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A churchyard gate with a porch or shed forming a chapel either combined with it or contiguous to it, in which in England and on the continent it was formerly customary, and is still usual in some places, for a bier to stand during the reading of the introductory part of the service, before it is borne inside; a corpsegate. It is very commonly nothing more than a simple shed under which is the gate. Also spelled, archaically, lychgate.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Its lich-gate held an image before which Mrs. Hilliard melted in a welter of devotion.

    The Henchman

  • At the entrance to the graveyard is the lich-gate and mortuary, where many wrecked seamen were taken for burial.

    The Cornwall Coast

  • She clinched her lips tightly as she came in sight of the tall poplars which stood beyond the spire of the church, and rose to an equal height with it, and at the lich-gate of the church she paused a little, feigning to take interest in one or two tombstones which recorded the death of people she had known.

    Aunt Rachel

  • In fine weather the worshippers were for the most part a little in advance of time, and thereby found opportunity to gather in knots about the lich-gate, or between it and the porch, where they exchanged observations on secular affairs with a tone and manner dimly tempered by the presence of the church.

    Aunt Rachel

  • It happened, as such things will happen for the disturbance of lovers, that just as Ruth turned to address Ferdinand, Reuben Gold marched under the lich-gate and caught sight of the group.

    Aunt Rachel

  • Here and there he paused, and was affable with a county elector, but when he reached the lich-gate he was altogether friendly with Fuller and

    Aunt Rachel

  • At the lich-gate Aunt Rachel paused to shake hands with everybody but

    Aunt Rachel

  • Half a dozen people in voluminous broadcloth were already gathered about the lich-gate when Fuller appeared, carrying his portly waistcoat with

    Aunt Rachel

  • The Earl of Barfield's carriage blocked the way at the lich-gate, and the young fellow waited in high impatience until the obstacle should disappear.

    Aunt Rachel

  • So he went early to church afoot on Sunday morning, leaving his lordship to follow alone in his carriage, and he chatted affably with the members of the little crowd that lingered about the lich-gate and the porch, and there awaited Ruth's coming.

    Aunt Rachel


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