Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Latin pyxis, from late Ancient Greek πυξίς (puxís, box).



pyx (plural pyxes)

  1. A small, usually round container used to hold the consecrated bread of the Eucharist, especially used to bring communion to the sick, or others who are unable to attend Mass.
    • 1820, Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, volume 1, page 273:
      The slight breach was fortunately committed by a distant relation of the Archbishop of Toledo, and consisted merely in his entering the church intoxicated, (a rare vice in Spaniards), attempting to drag the matin preacher from the pulpit, and failing in that, getting astride as well as he could on the altar, dashing down the tapers, overturning the vases and the pix, and trying to scratch out, as with the talons of a demon, the painting that hung over the table, uttering all the while the most horrible blasphemies, and even soliciting the portrait of the Virgin in language not to be repeated.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      And at the same instant perhaps a priest round the corner is elevating it. Dringdring! And two streets off another locking it into a pyx. Dringadring! And in a ladychapel another taking housel all to his own cheek. Dringdring!
  2. A box used in the British mint as a place of deposit for certain sample coins taken for a trial of the weight and fineness of metal before it is sent from the mint.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mushet to this entry?)
  3. (nautical) The box in which the compass is suspended; the binnacle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Weale to this entry?)
  4. (anatomy) Pyxis.



pyx (third-person singular simple present pyxes, present participle pyxing, simple past and past participle pyxed)

  1. (transitive) To test (sample coins) for the weight and fineness of metal before they are sent from the mint.

See also[edit]