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[am-fer-uh] /ˈæm fər ə/
noun, plural amphorae
[am-fuh-ree] /ˈæm fəˌri/ (Show IPA),
amphoras. Greek and Roman Antiquity.
a large two-handled storage jar having an oval body, usually tapering to a point at the base, with a pair of handles extending from immediately below the lip to the shoulder: used chiefly for oil, wine, etc., and, set on a foot, as a commemorative vase awarded the victors in contests such as the Panathenaic games.
Compare pelike, stamnos.
Origin of amphora
1300-50; Middle English < Latin < Greek amphoreús, equivalent to am(phi)- amphi- + phoreús bearer (i.e., handle), akin to phérein to bear
Related forms
amphoral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for amphorae


noun (pl) -phorae (-fəˌriː), -phoras
an ancient Greek or Roman two-handled narrow-necked jar for oil, wine, etc
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from Greek amphoreus, from amphi- + phoreus bearer, from pherein to bear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for amphorae



early 14c., "two-handled vessel for holding wine, oil, etc.," from Latin amphora from Greek amphoreus "an amphora, jar, urn," contraction of amphiphoreus, literally "two-handled," from amphi- "on both sides" (see amphi-) + phoreus "bearer," related to pherein "to bear" (see infer). Also a liquid measure in the ancient world, in Greece equal to 9 gallons, in Rome to 6 gallons, 7 pints.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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