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

  • n. A roofed gateway to a churchyard used originally as a resting place for a bier before burial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A churchyard gateway with a roof, under which a corpse was laid during a funeral to await the arrival of the clergyman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An archaic spelling of lich-gate.


Middle English lycheyate : lyche, corpse, body (from Old English līc) + gate, yate, gate; see gate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From lich (“corpse”) +‎ gate. (Wiktionary)


  • A document appears in a plastic sleeve pinned to the wooden stump that once supported a lych-gate.

    GRAVE CONCERNS • by Oscar Windsor-Smith

  • The Tudor Revival style rectory, hall 1950, and adjacent cemetery with lych-gate complete the church complex.


  • It got him toddling again, though, and I guided our expedition through the medieval lych-gate, into the churchyard.

    Slaying is Such Sweet Sorrow

  • The gate was massive, with supporting towers and a sloping roof like that of a lych-gate.

    Flashman on the March

  • ‘I myself and Sir Frederick Leighton are the greatest decorative artists of the age’, was among his sayings, and to show that he at any rate knew nothing of discouragement a great lych-gate, bought from some country churchyard, reared its thatched roof, meant to shelter bearers and coffin, above the entrance to his front garden.

    Collected Works of W. B. Yeats Volume III Autobiographies

  • They went through the lych-gate into the churchyard proper and picked their way round the lichen-covered headstones.

    Dreaming of the Bones

  • Fergus opened his mouth, brows arched skyward, then shut it again and turned without a word toward the black opening of the lych-gate, whence Jamie had disappeared.

    Drums of Autumn

  • "For Gavin's sake, " he said, and turned away toward the lych-gate.

    Drums of Autumn

  • Amy walked to church across the park with Mrs. Oddingsell, over the village green through the lych-gate into the churchyard and then into the cool, changeless gloom of the parish church.

    The Virgin's Lover

  • After the service was over Father Wilson bade farewell to his parishioners at the lych-gate.

    The Virgin's Lover


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