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From Latin scapulāre, from Latin scapula (shoulder). Compare scapulary.



scapular (plural scapulars)

  1. (Christianity) A short cloak worn around the shoulders, adopted as part of the uniform of various religious orders, later often with an embroidered image of a saint. [from 15th c.]
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 30:
      A scapular, or friar's coat, for example, was a coveted object to be worn as a preservative against pestilence or the ague []
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 409:
      She granted the Whitefriars identical powers to the Blackfriars, to bless a part of their friar's habit which draped over their shoulders and was known as the scapular; now laity could wear it and derive spiritual privileges from it.
  2. (ornithology) One of a special group of feathers which arise from each of the scapular regions and lie along the sides of the back.
  3. A bandage passing over the shoulder to support it, or to retain another bandage in place.
  4. (Christianity) A devotional object, typically consisting of two rectangular pieces of cloth (often with an embroidered image or text) joined with cloth bands and worn with one piece over the chest and one in the back.



scapular (not comparable)

  1. Of or pertaining to the scapula. [from 18th c.]

Related terms[edit]