narthex

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek νάρθηξ ‎(nárthēx, giant fennel), later ‘casket’ (modern Greek νάρθηκας ‎(nárthikas)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

narthex ‎(plural narthexes or narthices)

  1. (architecture) A western vestibule leading to the nave in some (especially Orthodox) Christian churches.
    • 1942, Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Canongate, published 2006, page 637:
      we were in the antechamber, called the narthex, which runs across the front of any Byzantine church [...].
    • 2007, Edwin Mullins, The Popes of Avignon, Blue Bridge 2008, p. 87:
      One of these was Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi, [...] who had now conceived ambitious plans for paintings to decorate the entire narthex, or entrance porch, of Avignon's ancient cathedral.

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