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[os-tee-er-ee] /ˈɒs tiˌɛr i/
noun, plural ostiaries.
Also called doorkeeper, porter. Roman Catholic Church.
  1. a member of the lowest-ranking of the four minor orders.
  2. the order itself.
    Compare acolyte (def 2), exorcist (def 2), lector (def 2).
a doorkeeper, as of a church.
Origin of ostiary
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English hostiary < Latin ōstiārius doorkeeper, equivalent to ōsti(um) door, entrance (see ostium) + -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ostiary
Historical Examples
  • In the decline of his popularity he permitted his door-keeper, whom he dignifies with the title of ostiary, to take a shilling!

British Dictionary definitions for ostiary


noun (pl) -aries
(RC Church) another word for porter2 (sense 4)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ostiārius doorkeeper, from ostium door
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
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