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

  • n. The portable sanctuary in which the Jews carried the Ark of the Covenant through the desert.
  • n. A case or box on a church altar containing the consecrated host and wine of the Eucharist.
  • n. A place of worship.
  • n. A niche for a statue or relic.
  • n. Nautical A boxlike support in which the heel of a mast is stepped.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any temporary dwelling, a hut, tent, booth.
  • n. The portable tent used before the construction of the temple, where the shekinah (presence of God) was believed to dwell.
  • n. transferred to the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem as continuing the functions of the earlier tabernacle
  • n. Any portable shrine used in heathen or idolatrous worship
  • n. A sukkah, the booth or 'tabernacle' used during the Jewish Feast of Sukkot.
  • n. A small ornamented cupboard or box used for the reserved sacrament of the Eucharist, normally located in an especially prominent place in a Roman Catholic church.
  • n. A temporary place of worship, especially a tent, for a tent meeting, as with a venue for revival meetings.
  • n. of any abode or dwelling place, especially of the human body as the temporary dwelling place of the soul, or life
  • n. A hinged device allowing for the easy folding of a mast 90 degrees from perpendicular, as for transporting the boat on a trailer, or passing under a bridge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A slightly built or temporary habitation; especially, a tent.
  • n. A portable structure of wooden framework covered with curtains, which was carried through the wilderness in the Israelitish exodus, as a place of sacrifice and worship.
  • n. Hence, the Jewish temple; sometimes, any other place for worship.
  • n. Figuratively: The human body, as the temporary abode of the soul.
  • n. Any small cell, or like place, in which some holy or precious things was deposited or kept.
  • n. The ornamental receptacle for the pyx, or for the consecrated elements, whether a part of a building or movable.
  • n. A niche for the image of a saint, or for any sacred painting or sculpture.
  • n. Hence, a work of art of sacred subject, having a partially architectural character, as a solid frame resting on a bracket, or the like.
  • n. A tryptich for sacred imagery.
  • n. A seat or stall in a choir, with its canopy.
  • n. A boxlike step for a mast with the after side open, so that the mast can be lowered to pass under bridges, etc.
  • intransitive v. To dwell or reside for a time; to be temporary housed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sojourn or abide for a time; take up a temporary habitation or residence.
  • n. A tent; a pavilion; a booth; a slightly constructed habitation or shelter, either fixed or movable; hence, a habitation in general, especially one regarded as temporary; a place of sojourn; a transient abode.
  • n. In Biblical phraseology, the human frame as the temporary abode of the soul, or of man as a spiritual immortal being.
  • n. In Jewish hist., a tent constructed to serve as the portable sanctuary of the nation before its final settlement in Palestine.
  • n. Hence A place or house of worship; especially, in modern use, an edifice for public worship designed for a large audience: often now the distinctive name assumed for such an edifice.
  • n. A receptacle for the reserved eucharist; especially, a constructional receptacle for this purpose, containing the pyx.
  • n. In medieval architecture, a canopied stall, niche, or pinnacle; a cabinet or shrine ornamented with openwork tracery, etc.; an arched canopy over a tomb, an altar, etc.
  • n. Nautical, an elevated socket for a river-boat's mast, or a projecting post to which a mast may be hinged when fitted for lowering to pass beneath bridges.

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

  • n. the Mormon temple
  • n. (Judaism) the place of worship for a Jewish congregation
  • n. (Judaism) a portable sanctuary in which the Jews carried the Ark of the Covenant on their exodus


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin tabernāculum, from Latin, tent, diminutive of taberna, hut; see tavern.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English from the 14th century, from Old French, from Latin tabernaculum ("tent, booth, shed"), the diminutive of taberna ("hut, shed")



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  • also: the support for the bottom of a mast on a yacht

    March 27, 2008