Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, mid-16th century
A container for holy relics.
Examples of Reliquary in a sentence
"The church had a collection of ornate reliquaries."
"Sometimes an archaeological dig will render a reliquary or two."
Popularity Over Time
This word stems from the French “reliquaire,” from the Old French “relique.” This comes from the Late Latin “reliquiæ,” meaning "the remains of a martyr."
Did you Know?
Reliquaries and the relics they hold have been historically significant to Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and other religions. They were often displayed in houses of worship so followers could make pilgrimages to gain blessings. But reliquaries were not just for the faithful; the term is sometimes used to describe containers that held body parts of non-religious people. For instance, many French kings specified that their hearts and other organs be buried in a different location from their primary burial site.