Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[lek-tern] /ˈlɛk tərn/
a reading desk in a church on which the Bible rests and from which the lessons are read during the church service.
a stand with a slanted top, used to hold a book, speech, manuscript, etc., at the proper height for a reader or speaker.
Origin of lectern
late Middle English
1275-1325; earlier lectron(e), late Middle English lectryn < Medieval Latin lēctrīnum, derivative of lēctrum lectern, equivalent to Latin leg(ere) to read + -trum instrumental suffix; replacing Middle English letroun, lettorne < Middle French letrun < Medieval Latin lēctrum, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lectern
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Who presented to the chapel of this College the splendid eagle, as a lectern, which forms one of its chief ornaments?

  • Mrs. Fleming, Meg, Monty, and Neale were standing by the lectern when she appeared.

  • Now, as always, a little giggle of appreciation ran down the nave as the Archdeacon marched forward to the lectern.

    The Cathedral Sir Hugh Walpole
  • They were all that he could do in the way of pulpit, desk, and lectern.

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • The rood-screen, lectern and pulpit are of carved oak, all comparatively new.

    Hertfordshire Herbert W Tompkins
British Dictionary definitions for lectern


a reading desk or support in a church
any similar desk or support
Word Origin
C14: from Old French lettrun, from Late Latin lectrum, ultimately from legere to read
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lectern

early 14c., lettorne, lettron, from Old French letron, from Medieval Latin lectrinum, from Late Latin lectrum "lectern," from root of Latin legere "to read" (see lecture (n.)). Half-re-Latinized in English in 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for lectern

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for lectern