pyx

pyx

[piks]
noun
1.
Ecclesiastical.
a.
the box or vessel in which the reserved Eucharist or Host is kept.
b.
a watch-shaped container for carrying the Eucharist to the sick.
2.
Also called pyx chest. a box or chest at a mint, in which specimen coins are deposited and reserved for trial by weight and assay.
Also, pix.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English pyxe < Latin pyxis < Greek pyxís a box, orig. made of boxwood

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World English Dictionary
pyx or (less commonly) pix (pɪks)
 
n
1.  Also called: pyx chest the chest in which coins from the British mint are placed to be tested for weight, etc
2.  Christianity any receptacle in which the Eucharistic Host is kept
 
[C14: from Latin pyxis small box, from Greek, from puxos box tree]
 
pix or (less commonly) pix
 
n
 
[C14: from Latin pyxis small box, from Greek, from puxos box tree]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pyx
c.1400, "a box," esp. the vessel in which the host or consecrated bread is preserved, from L. pyxis, from Gk. pyxis "box," from pyxos "box-tree," of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
PYX
Pyxis (constellation)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

pyx

in Christianity, vessel containing the consecrated bread used in the service of Holy Communion. Although pyxes were made in various shapes, such as that of a dove, the most common form was that of a small, cylindrical box fitted with a cover, which is generally conical. An English pyx dating from the first half of the 14th century, known as the Godsfield Pyx, is of gilt bronze with engraved foliage decorating the lid and body. Another well-known English medieval example is the Swinburne Pyx (c. 1310); a small, circular box fitted with a flat lid, it is silver gilt, with traces of translucent enamel. Changes in the liturgy of the church led to the pyx being placed upon a stand; this form is probably the predecessor of the monstrance, a vessel in which the host is exposed. The few pyxes surviving from the 17th and 18th centuries are usually flat and cylindrical

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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