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n. pl. an·te·pen·di·a (-dē-ə)
A decorative hanging for the front of an altar, lectern, or pulpit.

[Medieval Latin : Latin ante-, ante- + pendēre, to hang; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -dia (-dɪə)
(Ecclesiastical Terms) a covering hung over the front of an altar
[C17: from Medieval Latin, from Latin ante- + pendēre to hang]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌæn tiˈpɛn di əm)

n., pl. -di•a (-di ə)
a decorative hanging or panel for the front of an altar; frontal.
[1690–1700; < Medieval Latin; see ante-, pend, -ium1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chasubles for priests and antependia (altar-front decorations) were embroidered with pearls since the 10th century, and pearls also were used for devotional works such as chalices, book covers, crosses (so-calledpanagia), mitres and icons.
He identifies numerous woven antependia and tapestries, now scattered among several museums, which formerly adorned these altars.