Borrowed from Middle French reliquaire (modern French reliquaire), from Late Latin reliquiarium, from rēliquia (“a relic”) (English relic), noun use of reliquus (“abandoned, left behind, relict”), from relinquō (“I relinquish”), from re- (“again”) and linquō (“I leave”), from Proto-Indo-European *leikʷ-.
reliquary (plural reliquaries)
- A container to hold or display religious relics.
- 2009 February 13, Holland Cotter, “To Bump Off Art as He Knew It”, in New York Times:
- And whether you think of those little cans as intellectual puzzles or reliquaries or scams, there are surprises inside.
- (figuratively) An object that sustains the memory of past people or events.
- (law) A person who owes a balance.