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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman almarie, aumer, etc., from Old French almarie, from Latin armārium. Doublet of armoire.



ambry (plural ambries)

  1. (now historical, rare) A bookcase; a library or archive. [from 13thc.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xxiij, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVII:
      Whanne Bors had told hym of the aduentures of the Sancgreal suche as had befalle hym / and his thre felawes that was launcelot / Percyual / Galahad / & hym self There Launcelot told the aduentures of the Sancgreal / that he had sene / Alle this was made in grete bookes / and put vp in almeryes at Salysbury
    • 2006, Ernest A Savage, Old English Libraries, page 97:
      This collection, then, was the college reference library; corresponding with the common aumbry of the monastery, but also indicative of the principle of all library organisation [].
  2. (obsolete) A storehouse, especially a niche or recess in a wall used for storage.
  3. (now rare) A pantry, or place to store food. [from 14thc.]
    • 2004, Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopedia of Kitchen History, page 128:
      Used by a wholesaler or retailer as a wine cabinet, the ambry cupboard suited the needs of a neighborhood inn or small-scale private kitchen.
  4. (architecture) A cupboard or storage area in a church to hold books, communion vessels, vestments, etc.; an armarium. [from 16thc.]
    • 1787, William Hutchinson, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, volume II, page 64:
      At the end of the bench adjoining to the Frater-house door, was a fine almery fixed to the wall, and another on the other side of the door [].
    • 1983, Dennis G. Michno, A Priest's Handbook, Morehouse 1998, p.75:
      Nothing else should be kept in the tabernacle or aumbry where the Sacrament is reserved, but a small container of water and a cloth may be kept on the shelf for cleansing one's fingers.
    • 2003, Wm. B. Eerdmans, translating Erwin Fahlbusch et al., The Encylopedia of Christianity, vol.III, p.321:
      Portions of the consecrated bread from the Eucharist were stored or reserved in an ambry or tabernacle to be taken to the sick.