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[pi-sahy-nuh, pi-see-] /pɪˈsaɪ nə, pɪˈsi-/
noun, plural piscinae
[pi-sahy-nee, pi-see-] /pɪˈsaɪ ni, pɪˈsi-/ (Show IPA).
a basin with a drain used for certain ablutions, now generally in the sacristy.
Origin of piscina
1590-1600; < Medieval Latin, special use of Latin piscīna a fish pond, swimming pool, equivalent to pisc(is) fish + -īna, feminine of -īnus -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for piscina
Historical Examples
  • The aumbry is on the north and the piscina on the south side of the position which the altar used to occupy.

  • There are remains of a piscina in this chapel, but very much battered.

  • The altar, where a weekly requiem had been said for them, was gone, and the footpace and piscina alone showed where it had stood.

    By What Authority? Robert Hugh Benson
  • There are ambries in the walls and an eastern altar with a piscina.

    Scottish Cathedrals and Abbeys Dugald Butler and Herbert Story
  • There is a piscina in the chancel, and one in the S. wall of the nave; there are also two hagioscopes.

    Hertfordshire Herbert W Tompkins
  • The piscina or basin built in the wall is the place where you must look for the change.

    Cheshire Charles E. Kelsey
  • There is a piscina in the chapel and another in the chancel.

    Somerset G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade
  • A complete private bath must contain the piscina, or plunge.

    The Turkish Bath Robert Owen Allsop
  • In the recess on the east side there is a piscina which marks the site of an altar.

  • She sat up in the piscina, stepped out of the water, and walked to the door.

    Ancient Manners Pierre Louys
British Dictionary definitions for piscina


noun (pl) -nae (-niː), -nas
(RC Church) a stone basin, with a drain, in a church or sacristy where water used at Mass is poured away
Derived Forms
piscinal (ˈpɪsɪnəl) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: fish pond, from piscis a fish
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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