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[fawld-stool] /ˈfɔldˌstul/
a chair or seat, originally one capable of being folded, used by a bishop or other prelate when officiating in his own church away from his throne or in a church not his own.
a movable folding stool or desk at which worshipers kneel during certain acts of devotion.
such a stool placed at the south side of the altar, at which the kings or queens of England kneel at their coronation.
a desk at which the litany is said or sung.
Origin of faldstool
late Old English
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin faldistolium < West Germanic *faldistōl (compare Old High German faltistuol, late Old English fældestōl, fyldestōl); see fold1, stool; cf. fauteuil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for faldstool
Historical Examples
  • One is the Litany-desk, or faldstool,—as it is called in the Coronation Service.

    Stones of the Temple Walter Field
  • The chaplain knelt beneath the altar; and the Prince knelt down at the faldstool, the Duke beside him on the floor.

    Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories Arthur Christopher Benson
  • In the intervals, angels seated on faldstool thrones, and bearing stars; also two popinjays.

    Needlework As Art Marian Alford
  • We see the husband and wife kneeling facing each other, with a faldstool before each figure.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Passing the chapel, the king caught sight of the Duchess Isabella at her faldstool.

    The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky
British Dictionary definitions for faldstool


a backless seat, sometimes capable of being folded, used by bishops and certain other prelates
Word Origin
C11 fyldestol, probably a translation of Medieval Latin faldistolium folding stool, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German faldstuol
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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