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From Middle English shryne, from Old English scrīn (reliquary, ark of the covenant), from Latin scrīnium (case or chest for books or papers). 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.