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[kat-uh-fawk, -fawlk, -falk] /ˈkæt əˌfɔk, -ˌfɔlk, -ˌfælk/
a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state.
a hearse.
Origin of catafalque
1635-45; < French < Italian catafalco < Late Latin *catafalicum scaffold, equivalent to cata- cata- + fal(a) wooden siege tower + -icum, neuter of -icus -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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


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

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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