Definition of burse in English:



  • 1A flat, square, fabric-covered case in which a folded corporal cloth is carried to and from an altar in church.

    • ‘He or she may make use of a lavabo in preparation for the celebration, and the chalice and paten may be initially concealed by a burse and ornamental veil.’
    • ‘In Roman form the burse is ordinarily made of two juxtaposed pieces of cardboard about twenty-five centimetres (or ten inches) square, bound together at three edges, leaving the fourth open to receive the corporal.’
    • ‘Upon these burses much ornamentation is lavished, and this has been the case since medieval times, as many existing examples survive to show.’
  • 2historical The Royal Exchange in Cornhill, London.

    Compare with bourse


Late Middle English (in sense purse): from French bourse or medieval Latin bursa (see bourse, bursa).