Architecture. a semicircular or polygonal termination or recess in a building, usually vaulted and used especially at the end of a choir in a church. See diag. under basilica.
Astronomy. an apsis.

1815–25; variant of apsis

apsidal [ap-si-dl] , adjective
apsidally, adverb
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World English Dictionary
apse (æps)
1.  Also called: apsis a domed or vaulted semicircular or polygonal recess, esp at the east end of a church
2.  astronomy another name for apsis
[C19: from Latin apsis, from Greek: a fitting together, arch, from haptein to fasten]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"semicircular extension at the end of a church," 1846, from L. apsis "an arch, a vault," from Gk. hapsis (Ionic apsis) "loop, arch," originally "a fastening, felloe of a wheel," from haptein "fasten together;" the original sense in Gk. seems to have been the joining of the arcs to form a circle, especially
in making a wheel. The architectural term is earlier attested in Eng. in the L. form (1706).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

APSE definition

Ada Programming Support Environment

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
The right-hand apse is covered by one of the red domes.
She had a little dog, and the dog crossed the apse with us.
For now, the crossing and the chapels around the apse are open, reached through a shed that runs through the nave.
Short transept arms and a semicircular apse subtly reinforce the cruciform shape of the building.
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