Definition of shrine in English:



  • 1A place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, marked by a building or other construction.

    ‘the medieval pilgrim route to the shrine of St James’
    ‘a Hindu shrine at which offerings are placed twice a day’
    • ‘Pilgrimages to shrines and holy places at home and abroad attract tens of thousands of people each year.’
    • ‘Its domed roof resembles the Dome of Rock, one of the Muslims' holy shrines in Jerusalem.’
    • ‘On these days they do not enter temples or home shrines, or approach holy men.’
    • ‘It was replaced by the older form, shrine Shinto, the worship of kami in shrines or sanctuaries, tended by priests.’
    • ‘Securing awe and applaud from people standing on both sides of the road, the procession moved on to the holy shrine carrying the shawls with utmost respect.’
    • ‘Shinto shrines and rituals were at first local and agricultural in nature, but eventually they became associated with larger entities, including clans and the nation itself.’
    • ‘The first phase includes the construction of three principal shrines, dedicated to Lords Ganapati, Siva and Murugan.’
    • ‘Another factor helping to disseminate new types of building and decoration was the movement of pilgrims over the vast network of routes linking churches housing prestigious holy relics and shrines.’
    • ‘Both Jews and Muslims worship the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem as a holy shrine.’
    • ‘Buddhists frequently have personal shrines or altars in their homes.’
    • ‘He goes to pagan shrines, worships disgusting idols, and lends money for profit.’
    • ‘The holy shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are closed for six months a year due to inclement weather and extreme cold.’
    • ‘Often there are many smaller buildings which include shrines to different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as well as local folk gods.’
    • ‘The Sikhs were also deprived of many historic shrines and holy places which were left in Pakistan.’
    • ‘The government mounted a new Operation in May 1988 to displace these bandits from the holy shrine.’
    • ‘There are countless other Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples in Japan.’
    • ‘Many of my friends who are non-Muslims wonder why they are not allowed to visit Makkah and Madinah during Hajj while Muslims are allowed to visit their holy cities and shrines.’
    • ‘In 1925, Prince Adbul Aziz ibn Saud conquered the Hijaz, which included the two holiest Muslim shrines of Medina and Mecca, previously controlled by direct descendants of Mohammed.’
    • ‘When pilgrims and the holy men of the shrine gathered to hear Guru Nanak and question him, he sang in Persian.’
    • ‘Twenty years ago this week the India army stormed the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion.’
    holy place, temple, church, chapel, tabernacle, altar, sanctuary, sanctum
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    1. 1.1 A place associated with or containing memorabilia of a particular revered person or thing.
      ‘her grave has become a shrine for fans from all over the world’
      • ‘It's a shrine to his daughter, who's been taken out of the country by his ex-wife. The house is packed with his daughter's absence.’
      • ‘She even invited me into her house one day and showed me a room that was like a shrine to him.’
      • ‘He will surely walk out from what is now a family apartment located in part of a wing of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the largest palace in all of India, and a shrine to all that is Art Deco.’
      • ‘In amongst the hand-drawn maps and dinosaur relics, I found in Room 26, a shrine to Mongolia's institutional respect for the environment.’
      • ‘It is now a hotel which its owner, Francisco Pons Montanari, a Menorcan of Italian descent, has virtually turned into a shrine to the Royal Navy in the eighteenth century.’
      • ‘It is here that they have a shrine to their Rugby team.’
      • ‘The poster is still on the wall in the bedroom my mother has turned into a shrine to my success.’
      • ‘Mum, daughter and son-in-law turned it into a shrine to the Royal family.’
      • ‘The National Trust for Scotland has signalled that it does not have the means to buy or run the mansion, which is preserved as a shrine to the writer of Ivanhoe.’
      • ‘Hundreds of people yesterday took bouquets to the London square that has become a shrine to the victims of the terrorist attacks, in a spontaneous act of tribute seven days after the atrocities.’
      • ‘The parade left Fred's home in Radcliffe Road, a shrine to his love of industry, at 11 am.’
      • ‘There is a memorial garden, which has become a shrine to the event.’
      • ‘It's all about buying the best animals here, but the posh dining room on the top floor is truly a shrine to meat of good provenance.’
      • ‘A single room is transformed into a shrine to the international Hungarian exodus after the Soviet crackdown in 1956.’
      • ‘Mr Clarke is so proud of his country and its history that he transformed the living room of the couple's Odsal home into a shrine to England and St George.’
      • ‘The fourth was a temple of a goal, a shrine to what this team was all about.’
      • ‘The five-room, two-bedroom unit was a shrine to Ava Gardner.’
      • ‘Robben Island, for hundreds of years an international symbol of repression, now a shrine to the human spirit, has an hourly ferry service.’
      • ‘There is a reason I have a shrine to her in my bedroom.’
      • ‘Family and friends have created a shrine to the memory of two teenagers killed in a road accident at Nursling.’
    2. 1.2 A casket containing sacred relics; a reliquary.
      • ‘The chests or reliquaries in which they were buried were often venerated as shrines and could also serve as an altar.’
      • ‘The church and Minster of St.Werburgs also would have commissioned him to make various ecclesiastical bronze ware such as Thuribles, Censers etc; possibly even elements to shrines and reliquaries.’
      • ‘It is now accepted in art circles that the belt was a reliquary or shrine.’
      tomb, burial chamber, sepulchre, mausoleum, crypt, vault, catacomb, reliquary, charnel house
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    3. 1.3 A niche or enclosure containing a religious statue or other object.
      • ‘There are roadside shrines every other kilometer.’
      • ‘The tabanka festival combines African-style shrines with a Portuguese religious parade.’
      • ‘Dotted along the road were many little religious shrines illuminated by flickering candles and featuring nativity scenes.’
      • ‘Adriana hid the trinkets in her bedroom, in her little shrine with its statue of the Virgin.’
      • ‘Religious shrines were important parts of the household structure.’
      • ‘Backyard bouquets, notes, and cryptic ex voto objects are left at the small outdoor shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.’
      • ‘The shrine's niche was full of so many old flowers I couldn't even see which saint was in it.’
      • ‘Arizona's roadside shrines are considered religious sites, not tourist attractions; visit with respect.’
      • ‘There is a new statue in the shrine, larger and gold-plated.’
      memorial, monument, cenotaph, cairn, place dedicated to …
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[with object]literary
  • Enshrine.

    ‘a goddess shrined in every tree’


Old English scrīn ‘cabinet, chest, reliquary’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schrijn and German Schrein, from Latin scrinium ‘chest for books’.