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From Middle English shryne, from Old English scrīn (reliquary, ark of the covenant), from Medieval Latin scrīnium (reliquary), “case or chest for books or papers” in Classical Latin. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, bend). Compare Old Norse skrín, Old High German skrīni (German Schrein).


  • IPA(key): /ʃɹaɪ̯n/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪn


shrine (plural shrines)

  1. A holy or sacred place dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, or similar figure of awe and respect, at which said figure is venerated or worshipped.
    • 2022 March 23, Paul Bigland, “HS2 is just 'passing through'”, in RAIL, number 953, page 41:
      Entering the tunnel, we pass a small shrine above our heads which contains a statue of St Barbara, the patron saint of tunnellers. It is traditional to have such shrines on every tunnel site.
  2. A case, box, or receptacle, especially one in which are deposited sacred relics, as the bones of a saint.
  3. (figuratively) A place or object hallowed from its history or associations.
    a shrine of art

Derived terms[edit]



shrine (third-person singular simple present shrines, present participle shrining, simple past and past participle shrined)

  1. To enshrine; to place reverently, as if in a shrine.