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catafalque

[kat-uh-fawk, -fawlk, -falk] /ˈkæt əˌfɔk, -ˌfɔlk, -ˌfælk/
noun
1.
a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state.
2.
a hearse.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < French < Italian catafalco < Late Latin *catafalicum scaffold, equivalent to cata- cata- + fal(a) wooden siege tower + -icum, neuter of -icus -ic
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for catafalque
  • The catafalque in the cathedral is net yet ready, and se the body will net be moved there till te mor row.
British Dictionary definitions for catafalque

catafalque

/ˈkætəˌfælk/
noun
1.
a temporary raised platform on which a body lies in state before or during a funeral
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian catafalco, of uncertain origin; compare scaffold
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 catafalque
n.

1640s, from French catafalque (17c.), from Italian catafalco "scaffold," from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum, from Greek kata- "down" (see cata-), used in Medieval Latin with a sense of "beside, alongside" + fala "scaffolding, wooden siege tower," a word said to be of Etruscan origin. The Medieval Latin word also yielded Old French chaffaut, chafaud (Modern French échafaud) "scaffold."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for catafalque

ornate, often theatrical, usually movable funereal structure mounted on a stage to support a coffin for a lying-in-state. It is used for royalty and personages of distinction and is normally set up in a historic public hall, such as Westminster Hall, London, and the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The reputation of the Spanish architect Jose Churriguera, known for his exuberant and fantastic Baroque style, was established overnight in 1689 by his design for the catafalque for Queen Maria Louisa, first wife of Charles II. Certain European shrines of saints in which the body is visible are sometimes regarded as catafalques.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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