Definition of Dormition in US English:



  • 1(in the Orthodox Church) the passing of the Virgin Mary from earthly life.

    • ‘Eastern Christians celebrate not the Assumption, but the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.’
    • ‘The altar, intricately carved in limewood, painted and gilded, represents the Dormition of the Virgin, and took its creator 12 years to make.’
    • ‘The farmer and our taxi drivers obligingly moved some of the corn bales to reveal amazing frescoes of the Dormition and the Entry into Jerusalem, the paint having been unwittingly preserved by the bales.’
    • ‘This is a knot of ideas which embraces scientific ideas and Christian imagery, specifically in this case that most potent of all icons, the Dormition of the Virgin, in which the dead son symbolically gives birth to his own dead mother.’
    • ‘The decisive turning point in the scholarship of early El Greco came out of the blue in 1983, when the Dormition of the Virgin shown in the London exhibition was found.’
    1. 1.1 The feast held in honor of Dormition on August 15, corresponding to the Assumption in the Western Church.
      • ‘The feast celebrated in the Byzantine calendar as the Dormition on 15 August became the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin in the west.’


Late 15th century: from French, from Latin dormitio(n-) ‘falling asleep’, from dormire ‘to sleep’.