Definition of amphora in US English:



  • A tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck.

    • ‘Many classical wrecks have been investigated in the Mediterranean, such as the Roman wine carrier with 6000 amphoras off Madrague de Giens near Marseilles.’
    • ‘The relative sequences for fine wares, lamps, amphoras, cooking pots, and plain wares can be clearly established, and general trends have become apparent.’
    • ‘Chemical analysis of residues in amphorae (the great storage jars of the Roman period) has proved that many did contain wine and olive oil, as had been assumed, but some contained wheat flour.’
    • ‘Internal wall thickenings in Amphoratheca are better developed and regularly spaced, delineating flask-shaped pseudochambers that resemble ancient Greek amphorae.’
    • ‘The western amphoras suggest that Corinth's ties with Italy resurge in the middle of the century, and it is tempting to suggest that the Vandal conquest of Carthage diverted routes northward.’
    • ‘This aspect of diving was born out by numerous articles describing how in the Mediterranean Greek and Carthaginian amphorae together with other artefacts were often discovered and brought to the surface.’
    • ‘Local production of table wares was always more, rather than less, common, and the importation of wine and oil - carried in transport amphoras - was generally unnecessary given Messenia's agricultural productivity.’
    • ‘A small but interesting array of imported fine wares and amphoras dating from the mid-second through the first century B.C. is attested from Messenia.’
    • ‘On this voyage its cargo was large wine containers called amphorae.’
    • ‘The sea around this area is littered with amphorae, which ancient mariners cast overboard as offerings to the gods.’
    • ‘The large pottery vessels known as amphorae are among the most common finds from the Roman period in excavations, both on land and under the sea.’
    • ‘In the last third of the seventh century, when Byzantium definitively lost its African possessions, ceramics and amphorae from the Aegean and from the east become predominant.’
    • ‘All of the preserved skeletal material was recovered from the burial amphora itself and not from the associated pyre deposits.’
    • ‘The unburned pots include a neck-handled amphora, a cup, three small jugs, and a pyxis; a bronze pin lay around the shoulder of the urn on the east and south and a gold ring was found on bedrock in the southern half of the urn-hole.’
    • ‘And at a site called the Canyons we came across what appeared to be the lip and handle of an amphora.’
    • ‘The presence of sigillata pottery and amphorae was no longer a sign of economic vitality and trade, but merely of the total dependence of castra and cities on imperial provisions, divorced from the hinterland.’
    • ‘If the syntactical principles that inform its decoration are linked to those seen on cups and amphoras, does that imply that it functioned in similar ways and also was used in similar contexts?’
    • ‘Roman luxury goods such as fine ceramic tableware, metalwork, and the amphorae containing wine, olive oil, and other foodstuffs from the Mediterranean, continued to be brought into Britain.’
    • ‘Along with wine, a variety of amphorae demonstrate that olive oil, fish-sauce, and other exotic foodstuffs were imported by the shipload from the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘There is no way to determine if this fetus had been delivered, since the remains were gathered and mixed in the amphora with the adult bone.’


Latin, from Greek amphoreus, or from French amphore.