Definition of aumbry in English:


(also ambry)


  • 1A small recess or cupboard in the wall of a church.

    • ‘Pictures and names of seven departed bishops of Rochester can be seen on the inside of the ambry door.’
    • ‘This wall has an aumbry, or secure cupboard, for keeping the sacraments, or possibly relics.’
    • ‘An aumbry was always conveniently placed near the fireplace at the end of the high table.’
    • ‘A light burned outside the door of the aumbry to denote the presence of the sacrament.’
    • ‘The aumbry ‘hole’ to the left is a little shelf where the bread and wine could be placed.’
    • ‘Beds and cupboards, known as aumbries, were built into walls as were benches and settles.’
    • ‘Unlike many other features which may be found in a church the aumbry is usually very simple with little or no decoration.’
    • ‘More and more, Catholic parishes are building beautiful ambries and placing them where they can be seen.’
    • ‘The aumbry, which is set in the pillar to the left of the altar, has a fluted bronze door.’
    • ‘Low down in the corners of the east wall are two hollows known as aumbries which were probably used to contain relics.’
    alcove, bay, niche, nook, corner, inglenook
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1historical A small cupboard.


Middle English: from Old French armarie, from Latin armarium ‘closet, chest’, from arma ‘utensils’.