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Related to phylacteries: tefillin


n. pl. phy·lac·ter·ies Judaism
Either of two small leather boxes, each containing strips of parchment inscribed with quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures, traditionally worn strapped to the forehead and the left arm by Jewish men during morning worship, except on the Sabbath and holidays.

[Middle English filaterie, philacterie, from Old French filatiere, from Late Latin phylactērium, from Greek phulaktērion, guard's post, safeguard, phylactery, from phulaktēr, guard, from phulax, phulak-.]


n, pl -teries
1. (Judaism) Judaism (usually plural) Also called: Tefillah either of the pair of blackened square cases containing parchments inscribed with biblical passages, bound by leather thongs to the head and left arm, and worn by Jewish men during weekday morning prayers
2. a reminder or aid to remembering
3. archaic an amulet or charm
[C14: from Late Latin phylactērium, from Greek phulaktērion outpost, from phulax a guard]


(fɪˈlæk tə ri)

n., pl. -ter•ies.
1. Judaism. either of two small black leather cubes containing pieces of parchment inscribed with specific Biblical verses: worn by Orthodox or Conservative Jewish men during weekday morning prayers, one usu. strapped to the left arm, the other to the head above the hairline.
2. (in the early Christian church) a receptacle containing a holy relic.
3. an amulet or charm.
[1350–1400; Middle English philaterie < Medieval Latin philatērium, Late Latin phylactērium < Greek phylaktḗrion outpost, safeguard, amulet =phylak-, s. of phylássein to protect, guard + -tērion n. suffix of place]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.phylactery - (Judaism) either of two small leather cases containing texts from the Hebrew Scriptures (known collectively as tefillin)phylactery - (Judaism) either of two small leather cases containing texts from the Hebrew Scriptures (known collectively as tefillin); traditionally worn (on the forehead and the left arm) by Jewish men during morning prayer
Judaism - the monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud
reminder - a message that helps you remember something; "he ignored his wife's reminders"


A small object worn or kept for its supposed magical power:


[fɪˈlæktərɪ] Nfilacteria f
References in periodicals archive ?
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They damaged and "soiled" prayer shawls and tefillin, the leather phylacteries traditionally worn by men during prayers.
Something about their bearing broadcasts it without any need for a printed copy Some of them, as Jesus mentions in Matthew 23:5, display their distinction by their clothing, widening their phylacteries and lengthening the tassels on their garments.
The new front featured an image of Carlebach performing in a pulpit-like site--in front of a reader's desk with a silver Torah crown on it --for three kinds of religious Jews: a "modern" Hasid with a trimmed beard and fedora, an old Jew with a long beard, and a younger man seen in profile with phylacteries on his arm and forehead and a prayer shawl covering his head.
One can see pictures of Jews observing the High Holidays or Passover or donning phylacteries in many a fox hole.
They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
This was easy enough, since he had been suffering from an old man's chest since the thaw, and the doctor was partial to him on account of his regular praying, complete with shawl and phylacteries .
The adoption by Habad of Jewish religious and other symbols--whether in terms of the application of public relations to its outreach work, to photographic imaging of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, or such symbols of prayer as the menorah at Chanuka, the laying of phylacteries (tephillin) by men in their daily prayers, and the lighting of Sabbath candles by women--makes a study of Chabad's visual culture timely and important.
54) In Latin texts, there are two words commonly used for an amulet: one is phylacterium, a protective device (from which the term for Jewish phylacteries is devised); and the other is ligatura, a tie or knot.
Phylacteries are small black leather boxes containing parchment inscribed with Torah verses, and phylactery straps (like those depicted) are used to strap the boxes to the upper arm and forehead of observant Jewish males during morning prayers.
Embroidered phylacteries didn't spare the Pharisees from denunciation by the Master.
Sacred lands: Jewish men wrapped in prayer shawls and phylacteries pray at Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea