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altar   WordNet 2.0

- a raised structure on which gifts or sacrifices to a god are made

 
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- the table in Christian churches where communion is given

 
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Altar   Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are offered or incense burned to a deity.

"Noah builded an altar unto the Lord. Gen. viii. 20." --

2. In the Christian church, a construction of stone, wood, or other material for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the communion table.

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Altar is much used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound; as, altar bread or altar-bread.

Altar cloth
or Altar-cloth
the cover for an altar in a Christian church, usually richly embroidered.

Altar cushion
a cushion laid upon the altar in a Christian church to support the service book.

Altar frontal
See Frontal.

Altar rail
the railing in front of the altar or communion table.

Altar screen
a wall or partition built behind an altar to protect it from approach in the rear.

Altar tomb
a tomb resembling an altar in shape, etc.

Family altar
place of family devotions.

To lead (as a bride) to the altar
to marry; -- said of a woman.

 
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