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 (kăt′ə-fălk′, -fôlk′)
1. A decorated platform or framework on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral.
2. Roman Catholic Church A coffin-shaped structure draped with a pall, used to represent the corpse at a Requiem Mass celebrated after the burial.

[French, from Italian catafalco.]


(ˈkætəˌfælk) or


a temporary raised platform on which a body lies in state before or during a funeral
[C17: from French, from Italian catafalco, of uncertain origin; compare scaffold]


(ˈkæt əˌfɔk, -ˌfɔlk, -ˌfælk)

a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state.
[1635–45; < French < Italian catafalco < Late Latin *catafalicum scaffold=cata- cata- + fal(a) wooden siege tower + -icum, neuter of -icus -ic]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catafalque - a decorated bier on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral
bier - a stand to support a corpse or a coffin prior to burial


[ˈkætəfælk] Ncatafalco m


nKatafalk m
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References in classic literature ?
Upon the catafalque was seen the dead body of a damsel so lovely that by her beauty she made death itself look beautiful.
Altisidora had by this time sat up on the catafalque, and as she did so the clarions sounded, accompanied by the flutes, and the voices of all present exclaiming, "Long life to Altisidora
The sepulchral depths of the descent were dimly lighted by a silver lamp on the lowest step; and just below this lamp there was laid, wrapped in a flowing mantle of violet velvet, worked with fleurs-de-lis of gold, a catafalque resting on trestles of oak.
And he saw before him a plump, rather sallow-faced, short, stout woman, the Empress Mother, with her smile and her words at her first gracious reception of him, and then that same face on the catafalque, and the encounter he had with Zubov over her coffin about his right to kiss her hand.
Yet, on a more playful note, they also made wishes by tossing handkerchiefs and tying knots in colorful silks; some children circled the catafalque of Sheikh Adi, their foremost saint, in a manner that can only be described as skipping; families spread picnics in the shade; and others scattered sweets around a freshly baptized toddler.
Even the dress blue uniforms on three of us standing at attention facing the catafalque as the bugler sounded the 24 mournful notes of "Taps" were actually black except for white gloves touching hat brims in salute.
Demirel's coffin was put on the catafalque by soldiers serving the presidency.
Ranks of soldiers in Union blues and pallbearers, including several direct descendants of those who accompanied Lincoln's casket in 1865, retraced the route from a downtown train station in a replica hearse to the old capitol square, where it rested on a catafalque during opening ceremonies.
La batisse ou se trouve le catafalque du conquerant et un peu plus loin ceux des ses compagnons comme Sidi Askar, Sidi Slimane et Abu Muhadjir Dinar, ressemble a tous les lieux de culte du pays.
Diane Clarke's flute flutterings in the finale were worthy of Mozart's Queen of the Night, but best of all was the awesome catafalque of sound Curtis drew in the adagio's funeral march.
But they did allow a Mass to be said for the deceased prelate at Ignatius Cathedral (where a catafalque was placed in front of the altar) as well as Masses in the funeral home where throngs of people, including members of the Patriotic church, went to pay their respects.
The Painted Hall, where Nelson's catafalque remained on public display for years after his state funeral in 1806, was hung with naval and maritime scenes by artists from Van de Velde onwards, and Turner's huge canvas of the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, painted for George IV in 1823-24, was moved from St James's Palace to Greenwich, not as is often thought as banishment for a picture that the King's naval advisors considered inaccurate, but as the centrepiece for a new national celebration of Britain's naval prowess.