One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shrine, oratory, or church built in memory of a martyr; a building marking the place of a martyrdom or the site of a martyr's relics.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Christopher Cartwright (bap. 1602, d. 1658), Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist. From (i) post-classical Latin martyrium and its etymon (ii) ancient Greek μαρτύριον: see martyre.
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