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Borrowed from Latin ostiārius, from ostium (door, entrance). See usher, which may be a doublet.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɒsti.əɹi/, /ˈɒstʃəɹi/


ostiary (plural ostiaries)

  1. The mouth of a river; an estuary.
  2. One who keeps the door, especially the door of a church; a porter.
    Synonym: ostiarius
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
    • 1987, Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun:
      So arrayed I stepped at last from my door and was saluted as before by my monstrous ostiaries.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for ostiary in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)