One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A basin for holy water, especially on the wall near the door of a Roman Catholic church for worshipers to dip their fingers in before crossing themselves.
- ‘Among them were an 11th century grave cover, a Norman window head and a holy water stoup, which provide evidence that Burnsall had a stone church in the 11th century.’
- ‘On the walls there were rosaries, medals, several pictures of the Virgin, and a holy-water stoup made out of a coconut.’
- ‘A factory document of 1743 reveals that a series of holy water stoups had been commissioned by the nuns in the Royal Convent of Unshod Carmelites in Madrid.’
- ‘One appeared to be a holy water stoup such as was found in Roman Catholic churches, of a plain character.’
- ‘But she gains other layers as I explain about the stoup of holy water, and as the unfamiliar sound of a mighty organ thunders and peals around us, while for me the layers just keep on accumulating.’
- ‘The stoop, or baptismal font, has also been found and returned to the church.’
- 1.1archaic A flagon or beaker for drink.
beaker, cupView synonyms
- ‘II.3 has Iago left alone after Cassio's departure, after he has wheedled him into drinking a stoup of wine.’
Middle English (in the sense ‘pail, small cask’): from Old Norse staup, of Germanic origin; related to the verb steep.
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