1200–50; Middle English < Late Latin tabernāculum, Latin: tent, equivalent to tabern(a) hut, stall, inn (cf. tavern) + -āculum, probably extracted from hibernāculum winter quarters (see hibernaculum) (Source:

Middle English via French from Latin tabernaculum ‘tent’, diminutive of taberna ‘hut, tavern’. (Source:

Definitions of Tabernacle



  1. any place or house of worship, especially one designed for a large congregation.
  2. (often initial capital letter) the portable sanctuary in use by the Israelites from the time of their wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt to the building of the Temple in Jerusalem by Solomon. Ex. 25–27.
  3. Ecclesiastical. an ornamental receptacle for the reserved Eucharist, now generally found on the altar.
  4. a canopied niche or recess, as for an image or icon.
  5. a temporary dwelling or shelter, as a tent or hut.
  6. a dwelling place.
  7. the human body as the temporary abode of the soul.
  8. (often capital) Old Testament the portable sanctuary in the form of a tent in which the ancient Israelites carried the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25–27) the Jewish Temple regarded as the shrine of the divine presence
  9. Judaism an English word for sukkah
  10. a meeting place for worship used by Mormons or Nonconformists
  11. a small ornamented cupboard or box used for the reserved sacrament of the Eucharist
  12. the human body regarded as the temporary dwelling of the soul
  13. mainly RC Church a canopied niche or recess forming the shrine of a statue
  14. nautical a strong framework for holding the foot of a mast stepped on deck, allowing it to be swung down horizontally to pass under low bridges, etc


verb (used with or without object)

  1. to place or dwell in, or as if in, a tabernacle.



  1. (in biblical use) a fixed or movable dwelling, typically of light construction.
  2. A meeting place for worship used by Nonconformists or Mormons.
  3. An ornamented receptacle or cabinet in which a pyx containing the reserved sacrament may be placed in Catholic churches, usually on or above an altar.
  4. A partly open socket or double post on a sailing boat's deck into which a mast is fixed, with a pivot near the top so that the mast can be lowered to pass under bridges.



  1. : a house of worship
  2. : a receptacle for the consecrated elements of the Eucharist
  3. : a tent sanctuary used by the Israelites during the Exodus
  4. : a dwelling place
  5. : a temporary shelter : tent



  1. : to take up temporary residence

Example sentences for Tabernacle

  1. King says in a sermon a month later at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama.
  2. In the centre, a sort of tabernacle was constructed by driving posts into the ground, and closely covering them with hides.
  3. If the men of my tabernacle have not said: Who will give us of his flesh that we may be filled?
  4. Shall I ever believe that God has commanded a tabernacle to be built to have His oracle heard from the ark in it?
  5. Nor was this principle of divine appointment confined to the high and holy office of the tabernacle.
  6. When it raineth, it is his penthouse; when it bloweth, it is his tent; when it freezeth, it is his tabernacle.

Related words & Synonyms

niche, sanctuary, shelter, shrine, habitation, temple, tent, reliquary

Nearby words

tabasco , tabbinet , tabbouleh , tabby , taber , tabernacle frame , tabernacle mirror , tabernacles , tabes , tabes dorsalis

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