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plan of the 4th-century ad
St. Peter's Basilica
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.]
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]
an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of a church.
[1665–75; < Late Greek nárthēx]
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|Noun||1.||narthex - 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 church|
antechamber, anteroom, entrance hall, foyer, lobby, vestibule, hall - a large entrance or reception room or area