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plan of the 4th-century ad
St. Peter's Basilica
Rome, Italy
A. apse
B. transept
C. nave
D. aisles
E. narthex
F. atrium


1. A portico or lobby of an early Christian or Byzantine church or basilica, originally separated from the nave by a railing or screen.
2. An entrance hall leading to the nave of a church.

[Late Greek narthēx, from Greek, giant fennel (plant of the genus Ferula, whose hollow stem could be used to store items), case for storing unguents (perhaps used in Late Greek to describe narthexes in churches because these are sometimes narrow passages or because catechumens were anointed there before baptism); perhaps akin to Sanskrit naḍaḥ, reed.]
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.


1. (Architecture) a portico at the west end of a basilica or church, esp one that is at right angles to the nave
2. (Architecture) a rectangular entrance hall between the porch and nave of a church
[C17: via Latin from Medieval Greek: enclosed porch, enclosure (earlier: box), from Greek narthēx giant fennel, the stems of which were used to make boxes]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈnɑr θɛks)

an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of a church.
[1665–75; < Late Greek nárthēx]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.narthex - portico at the west end of an early Christian basilica or churchnarthex - portico at the west end of an early Christian basilica or church
basilica - an early Christian church designed like a Roman basilica; or a Roman Catholic church or cathedral accorded certain privileges; "the church was raised to the rank of basilica"
portico - a porch or entrance to a building consisting of a covered and often columned area
2.narthex - a vestibule leading to the nave of a churchnarthex - a vestibule leading to the nave of a church
antechamber, anteroom, entrance hall, foyer, lobby, vestibule, hall - a large entrance or reception room or area
church building, church - a place for public (especially Christian) worship; "the church was empty"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Check-in is in the narthex. To schedule an appointment, email or call (847) 255-8700.
Its southern wall lies on Ayios Georgios street, where the main entrance to the narthex opens.
Project name: Saint John Vianney Church<br />Address: 1755 N Calhoun Road, Brookfield<br />Start date:April 2017<br />Completion: December 2017<br />Owner: Saint John Vianney Church of Brookfield<br />Design/build contractor: MSI General Corp.,Nashotah<br />Significance of the project: The project's narthex addition gave the church a stunning new entrance.
| WHAT is a narthex? | WHERE is the historical city of Timbuktu?
For every disapproving look toward a young family with a squawking baby, there are three mumbled conversations in the narthex about young people's drop in Mass attendance.
Scheer's conceptual approach to composing these live sets involves "thinking about them as stories or trips" in which sounds are "characters or subjects interacting." The narratives that emerge are often "mutant interpretations of our reality," "songs of upheaval and regeneration." Some of the tracks--or, to mirror Scheer's terminology, "stories"--on Sixth Stitch are told through only one or two primary "characters." Examples include "Narthex," the shortest track at one and a half minutes, which repeats a simple pattern of trilling bleeps over a thumping kick drum, and "Disappearances," a chorus of clacking pincers with little other embellishment.
On the wall that separates the nave from the narthex there is an inscription dated 1738 and it served as a parochial church in Gostila village, Blenchi parish, Salaj County.
Essential oils of Melia azedarach, Linium usitatissium, Ferula narthex, Sasurrea costus, Viola odorata and Achyranthus aspera were tested for their contact toxicity and growth regulatory effects against Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens).
United in that desire, we step to the rail, take upon our tongues the Eucharist; then file, silent, through the minuscule narthex where the bronze tablet lists its roll of faithfully departed, in relief, above the cast iron holy water font: dead boys from the old wars-- World Wars I and II, Korea, and now the inaugural names of our war, Vietnam.
One such beneficiary was the Narthex Centre in Sparkhill which received enough food for 70 meals.
From an architectural point of view, the Enei Church belongs to the category of churches with a bottony plan, with small lateral apse, slightly over enlarged narthex, a tower on the nave and a bell tower on the narthex, a type borrowed and developed during the following century.