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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.
Put those fonts / to good use as bird baths, those missals as mulch, those catafalques / as oxcarts.