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[shrahyn] /ʃraɪn/
a building or other shelter, often of a stately or sumptuous character, enclosing the remains or relics of a saint or other holy person and forming an object of religious veneration and pilgrimage.
any place or object hallowed by its history or associations:
a historic shrine.
any structure or place consecrated or devoted to some saint, holy person, or deity, as an altar, chapel, church, or temple.
a receptacle for sacred relics; a reliquary.
verb (used with object), shrined, shrining.
to enshrine.
before 1000; Middle English schrine, Old English scrīn (cognate with German Schrein, Dutch schrijn) < Latin scrīnium case for books and papers
Related forms
shrineless, adjective
shrinelike, adjective
unshrined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shrines
  • Ritual art-used to connect with the spiritual world through prayer and supplication-can still be found in caves and shrines.
  • They are shown in three gilt shrines, in the abbey which bears his name, and was founded in the eighth century.
  • Other charges were that he had carried away productions of art, and that he had violated the sacred shrines.
  • Homemade shrines, increasingly common in public places, are the subject of some controversy.
  • People can visit shrines at their convenience-some devotees may pay their respects to the shrine every morning.
  • Curse tablets were typically rolled up and nailed to posts inside temples or shrines.
  • The entire island is filled with shrines and temples.
  • Back then, today's hidden shrines were simply the big towns in a settled countryside.
  • The protection of travelers' shrines and rustic prayers grows weak.
  • Hotels, restaurants and shops prepare special commemorative shrines.
British Dictionary definitions for shrines


a place of worship hallowed by association with a sacred person or object
a container for sacred relics
the tomb of a saint or other holy person
a place or site venerated for its association with a famous person or event
(RC Church) a building, alcove, or shelf arranged as a setting for a statue, picture, or other representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint
short for enshrine
Derived Forms
shrinelike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English scrīn, from Latin scrīnium bookcase; related to Old Norse skrin, Old High German skrīni
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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Word Origin and History for shrines



Old English scrin "ark (of the covenant); chest, coffer; case for relics," from Latin scrinium "case or box for keeping papers," of unknown origin. From late 14c. as "a tomb of a saint" (usually elaborate and large). A widespread word, cf. Dutch schrijn, German Schrein, French écrin, Russian skrynya, Lithuanian skrine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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