becket, thomas à

Cultural Dictionary

Becket, Thomas à definition


An English bishop of the twelfth century. Becket was archbishop of Canterbury and thus leader of the Christian Church in England. He defended church interests against interference by the king. Four of the king's men, thinking that the king wanted Becket put to death, went to Becket's cathedral and murdered him.

Note: The killing of Becket is dramatized in plays by T. S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral) and the French playwright Jean Anouilh (Becket).
Note: Soon after Becket's death, people from all over England began to go to his burial place in Canterbury to pray, especially sick persons, who prayed for healing. The storytellers in The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, are on their way to Becket's tomb.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: becket, st.
Next Definition: becket-bend
Words Near: becket, thomas à
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for becket, thomas à
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing becket, thomas à
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature