Definition of paternoster in US English:



  • 1(in the Roman Catholic Church) the Lord's Prayer, especially in Latin.

    • ‘Finish with a colloquy to Christ our Lord, and finally a paternoster.’
    • ‘My paternoster is a combination of real paternosters in several universal languages from the last three or four centuries, including Esperanto, plus, if I remember correctly, a piece from Gulliver's Travels.’
    • ‘I had a contemplation of the sufferings of Christ, and I besought him to let me feel his sorrows with him, and prayed five paternosters in adoration of the five sacred wounds.’
    1. 1.1 Any of a number of special beads occurring at regular intervals in a rosary, indicating that the Lord's Prayer is to be recited.
  • 2An elevator consisting of a series of linked doorless compartments moving continuously on an endless belt.

    • ‘It was not suggested by the appellants, either in evidence or by submission, that there was any second-hand source of paternoster machines.’
    • ‘As for rigs, I recommend not having the lead directly on the line, helicopter and in-line styles are a no-no; use a short link ledger or paternoster.’
    elevator, hoist
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Old English, from Latin pater noster ‘our father’, the first words of the Lord's Prayer.