Definition of altar noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈɔːltə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɔːltər//
Religious buildings, Religious items
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  • a holy table in a church or temple the high altar (= the most important one in a particular church) See related entries: Religious buildings, Religious items
  • Word OriginOld English altar, alter, based on late Latin altar, altarium, from Latin altus ‘high’.Extra examples He built an altar to God and made a sacrifice. He lay prostrate before the high altar. He placed the candles on the altar. Helen and Tony kneeled at the altar. The altars were decorated with images. The bride approached the altar. an altar dedicated to Saint John the high altar of the churchIdioms
    at/on the altar of something
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    (formal) because of something that you think is worth suffering for He was willing to sacrifice his happiness on the altar of fame. See related entries: Religious buildings
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: altar

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