Definition of hatchment in US English:



  • A large tablet, typically diamond-shaped, bearing the coat of arms of someone who has died, displayed in their honor.

    • ‘Ignore the darker red and whitened silver, but note that the frets in the hatchment were thickened.’
    • ‘The existence of a hatchment showing particular arms does not necessarily mean the person was entitled to bear them in accordance with the rules of the College of Arms.’
    • ‘A funeral hatchment is a diamond-shaped panel bearing the ‘Coat of Arms’ of a person who has recently died.’
    • ‘Inside the Abbey, we saw the crest of the Maunsell family and over the choir pews, a very impressive hatchment mounted on the wall’
    • ‘In the north aisle are two funeral hatchments one for Armstrong and the other for Peyton.’
    • ‘Shown above right is the hatchment of Charles Compton, 9th Earl and 1st Marquess of Northampton.’
    • ‘If a person was significant due to his deeds in life, a text on the hatchment made the most of these achievements.’
    • ‘In the bottom right corner the hatchment displays Nelson's white cross of The Order of Saint Joachim suspended from a green ribbon.’
    • ‘The six hatchments in the chancel at Lambourne are all of the Lockwood family.’
    • ‘On the death of a person of any social position, a hatchment of his or her arms was set up over the entrance to his house, which remained there for twelve months, during the period of mourning.’
    • ‘There are a complete set of 17th and 18th century funeral hatchments in the church.’
    • ‘For a single coat of arms the same hatchment might suffice for several generations but when a married couple's arms were impaled the hatchment could obviously only be used twice.’
    • ‘A booklet explaining the hatchments in the church and introducing the study of heraldry more generally is currently in preparation.’
    • ‘House signs and hatchments usually have brass mirror plates for screwing to a wall.’
    • ‘The other hatchment is for Mrs. Henrietta Sleorgin who has the raised tomb outside the east window.’
    • ‘A hatchment is a memorial to a person who has died and is made up from the deceased's coat of arms There are three hatchments in the church.’
    • ‘The tomb of Admiral Sir Isaac Smith is adjacent to the south side of the chancel and his funeral hatchment also hangs on the north aisle wall, near that of Nelson.’


Early 16th century: probably from obsolete French hachement, from Old French acesmement ‘adornment’.