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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
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.
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.
With the late minister's family in attendance, Trump, the first lady, Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers stood silently as Graham's casket was placed on a raised box called a catafalque that was constructed by the Capitol's official architect.
Here was an upwelling of emotion the likes of which France had not seen since the funerals of Victor Hugo and Edith Piaf, since the catafalque of Jean Jaures went up the Rue Soufflot.
Coffin lids are secured before they are brought to the crematorium and once a coffin has been placed on the catafalque - the wooden framework which supports the coffin - in the chapel, it is cremated with all its contents.
Il etait presque quatorze heures quand le catafalque enveloppe dans l'embleme est arrive sous un soleil de plomb.
Funeral of the solider was placed at the catafalque and his biography was read.
A professor from the University of Bologna delivered the funeral oration in the church of San Domenico, which was draped in mourning and decorated with a monumental, temporary catafalque presenting a life-size sculpture of Sirani in the act of painting.
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.