Definition of ambry in English:


(also aumbry)


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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unlike many other features which may be found in a church the aumbry is usually very simple with little or no decoration.’
    • ‘An aumbry was always conveniently placed near the fireplace at the end of the high table.’
    • ‘The aumbry, which is set in the pillar to the left of the altar, has a fluted bronze door.’
    • ‘Pictures and names of seven departed bishops of Rochester can be seen on the inside of the ambry door.’
    • ‘Beds and cupboards, known as aumbries, were built into walls as were benches and settles.’
    • ‘More and more, Catholic parishes are building beautiful ambries and placing them where they can be seen.’
    • ‘This wall has an aumbry, or secure cupboard, for keeping the sacraments, or possibly relics.’
    • ‘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


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