Association of British Scrabble Players

Culture > Religion > Buildings


Now updated for CSW15. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.


abbey a building inhabited by a community of monks or nuns governed by an abbot or abbess.
adytum the sacred part of a temple or church; a church chancel > ADYTA.
aisle a side division of the nave or other part of a church or similar building, generally separated off by pillars.
aisled having AISLES.
aisleless without an aisle.
almemar a rostrum in a synagogue, a BEMA.
almery aumbry awmrie awmry ambery ambry a recess for church vessels, a cupboard.
altar a raised structure used in worship.
altarwise in the proper position of an altar, that is, at the east of a church with its ends towards the north and south.
dorsel dossal dossel a cloth hanging for the back of an altar.
ambery see ALMERY.
ambry see ALMERY.
ambulatory an aisle down the east end of a church, behind the altar.
antechapel an anteroom to a chapel or church.
antechoir the space in front of the CHOIR in a church.
apse a rounded extension at the end of a building, especially at the east end of a church.
apsidal having shape of an APSE; pertaining to an APSIS.
apsidiole a subsidiary APSE, a rounded extension at end of building, especially at east end of church.
ashram asrama the dwelling of a Hindu religious philosopher.
aumbry see ALMERY.
awmrie see ALMERY.
awmry see ALMERY.
baptistery baptistry that part of a church (or, formerly, a separate building adjacent to a church) used for baptism.
basilic pertaining to a BASILICA.
basilica a large oblong hall with double colonnades and a semicircular apse; a Roman Catholic church with honorific privileges > BASILICAS or BASILICAE.
basilical basilican of, relating to, or resembling, a BASILICA.
beadhouse bedehouse a house for prayer, a CHAPEL.
belfried having a BELFRY.
belfry the part of a church housing the bells.
bema bima bimah a synagogue platform > BEMAS or BEMATA; BIMAS, BIMAHS.
bethel a place of worship for seamen; a nonconformist chapel. [Hebrew 'house of god'].
bethesda a Nonconformist church building.
bima bimah see BEMA.
calefactory a monastery sitting room.
campanile a freestanding bell tower on church property > CAMPANILI or CAMPANILES.
cantorial cantoris located on the north side of the choir in a church.
capitol a citadel on top of a hill; esp. the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, on the Saturnian or Tarpeian (later called Capitoline) Hill at Rome.
cathedra the chair or throne of office of a bishop or other high official > CATHEDRAS or CATHEDRAE.
cathedral the principal church in a diocese, so called because in it the bishop has his official chair (cathedra).
cella the inner chamber of a classical temple > CELLAE.
cenacle coenacle the room where the Last Supper was eaten; also, a clique or circle, especially of writers
chancel the part of a church containing the altar and seats for choir.
chantry chauntry a chapel or altar built for prayers for its benefactor's soul.
chapel a place of Christian worship in a larger building, esp. a place set apart, with a separate altar, in a church or cathedral.
chapterhouse the building attached to a cathedral, collegiate church, or religious house in which the chapter meets.
chevet the east end of (especially French Gothic) church or chancel.
choirstall one of fixed seats in the choir of a church, generally of carved wood.
chorten a Buddhist shrine.
church a building designed for public forms of worship, esp. Christian worship; (verb) to bring someone to church.
churchless without a church.
churchliness the state of being CHURCHLY, resembling a church.
churchly resembling a church > CHURCHLIER, CHURCHLIEST.
churchy associated with or reminiscent of churches > CHURCHIER, CHURCHIEST.
ciborium a freestanding canopy to cover an altar; a vessel for holding eucharistic bread > CIBORIA.
claustral cloistral of, like, or characteristic of a CLOISTER.
clearstory clerestory the upper storey of a church; windows near the roof of a building.
cloister a covered arcade forming part of a monastic or collegiate establishment.
conclave the room in which cardinals meet to elect a pope; any secret assembly.
convent a place for nuns; (verb, arch.) to be suitable for.
covent a CONVENT.
crypt an underground cell or chapel.
cryptal pertaining to or like a crypt.
dagaba dagoba a dome-shaped structure built over relics of Buddha or some Buddhist saint.
darbar a hall in a Sikh temple.
darga dargah durgah a structure over a place where a holy person was buried or cremated.
decani the dean's (south) side of a choir, as opposed to the CANTORIS side.
delubrum a font, a temple or shrine having a font > DELUBRUMS.
dharmsala dharmshala a building having a religious or charitable purpose, a free or cheap lodging for travellers.
diaconicon a sacristy for sacred vessels in Orthodox churches > DIACONICONS.
duomo a cathedral > DUOMI or DUOMOS.
durgah see DARGA.
ebenezer a memorial stone set up by Samuel after the victory of Mizpeh; a chapel or religious meeting place. [Hebrew eben-ha-ezedr, stone of help].
exedra exhedra a semicircular bench beside an episcopal throne; an outdoor bench or recess > EXEDRAE or EXEDRAS, EXHEDRAE.
faldistory the throne or seat of a bishop within the chancel.
faldstool a prayer desk from which the Litany is read at church service; a bishop's round armless chair.
fane a temple.
fenestella a recess in church wall for storing communion vessels > FENESTELLAS or FENESTELLAE.
feretory a (portable) shrine containing the relics of a saint; a small room or chapel in which shrines were deposited.
frithstool a seat in churches near the altar, to which offenders formerly fled for sanctuary.
galilee a small chapel or porch at western end of some medieval English churches.
gargoyle gurgoyle a carved face on a church to keep away evil spirits.
genizah a room adjoining a synagogue used to store old or damaged books > GENIZAHS, GENIZOT, GENIZOTH.
gompa a Buddhist temple or monastery in Tibet.
gopura gopuram in Southern India, a pyramidal tower over the gateway of a temple.
gradin gradine a raised step or ledge behind an altar.
gradino a decoration for an altar GRADIN > GRADINI.
gurdwara a Sikh place of worship which includes a place where the scripture is housed. [Punjabi from Skr. guru, teacher, + dvara, door].
hagioscope an opening cut in the wall of a church to enable viewing of the altar.
iconostas iconostasis in Eastern churches, a screen separating the sanctuary from the nave. Pl. in both cases ICONOSTASES.
jube a rood-loft, or screen and gallery. [L. imperative of jubere, to command].
kirk church; (verb) to bring to church.
kirkton the village in which the parish church stands.
kirkyaird kirkyard a churchyard.
kiva an underground chamber used in religious rites by Pueblo Indians. [Hopi].
lamaserai lamasery a monastery or convent of lamas, in Tibet, Mongolia, etc.
langar a dining hall in a GURDWARA.
laura lavra a group of huts or cells inhabited by reclusive monks in Egypt and the Middle East > LAURAE or LAURAS; LAVRAS.
lectern lecturn lettern a reading desk or support in a church.
lichgate lychgate the roofed gate of a churchyard.
mandir mandira a Hindu or Jain temple.
mani a stone prayer wall in a Tibetan Buddhist temple, usu. carved with sacred images or texts > MANIES or MANIS.
manse a house allocated to or occupied by a minister, esp. in the Church of Scotland.
martyrium a shrine erected in memory of a martyr > MARTYRIA.
martyry a shrine, chapel or monument in memmory of a martyr.
masjid musjid a mosque.
mechitza a screen in a synagogue separating men and women > MECHITZAS or MECHITZOT.
megachurch a church, usually Protestant, with a very large congregation, typically housed in a complex offering sophisticated multimedia presentations and a range of secular facilities and services.
meetinghouse the place in which certain religious groups, esp. Quakers, hold their meetings for worship.
mihrab a niche or slab in a mosque marking the direction of Mecca.
mikva a place for ritual bathing by Orthodox Jews > MIKVAS.
mikvah a place for ritual bathing by Orthodox Jews > MIKVAHS or MIKVOTH.
mikveh a place for ritual bathing by Orthodox Jews > MIKVEHS, MIKVOS or MIKVOT.
mimbar minbar a mosque pulpit.
minaret a tall tower or turret connected with a mosque, from which a muezzin calls at hours of prayer. [Arabic manarat, from nar, fire].
minareted having a MINARET.
minbar see MIMBAR.
minster a church associated with a monastery.
misericord misericorde a bracket on a turn-up seat in a choirstall, allowing the user some support when standing.
monastery the residence of a religious community, esp. of monks, living in seclusion from secular society and bound by religious vows.
monopteral resembling a MONOPTERON.
monopteron a circular temple with one ring of columns > MONOPTERA.
mosk mosque an Islamic temple.
naos the inner cell of a temple > NAOI or NAOSES.
narthex a small entrance or porch to a church.
nave the largest part of a church, where the congregation sits.
nef a church nave.
nunnery the convent or religious house of a community of nuns.
nymphaeum a temple, sanctuary or grotto of the nymphs > NYMPHAEA or NYMPHAEUMS.
oratory a small chapel for private prayer.
pagod pagoda an Eastern temple, esp. in the form of a many-storeyed tapering tower. [Persian butkhada, idol temple].
pantheon a temple dedicated to all the gods, or where images or other memorials of all the gods of a nation are collected. [After Pantheon, a domed circular temple in Rome, built c. 120 AD].
parabema in Byzantine architecture, a chapel walled off from the BEMA > PARABEMATA.
parclose a railing in a church enclosing altar, chapel or tomb.
parsonage the home of a parson.
parvis parvise an enclosed area, often surrounded with colonnades or porticoes, in front of a building, esp. a cathedral or church.
pastorium the home of a pastor > PASTORIUMS.
peculiar strange > PECULIARLY; (noun) a parish or church exempt from the jurisdiction of the diocese in which it lies > PECULIARS.
penetralia the innermost or most private parts, esp. of a temple or palace; hidden things or secrets.
penetralian relating to PENETRALIA, the innermost or most private parts e.g. of a temple.
pew a bench in a church.
piscina a basin set in wall of church to drain away ceremonial water > PISCINAE or PISCINAS.
piscinal belonging to a fishpond or a PISCINA.
poppyhead a raised ornament on top of the upright end of seats in churches.
precinct a space, esp an enclosed one, around a building (e.g. a cathedral, college, etc).
predella a platform for an altar; a portable altar or decoration upon it > PREDELLAS or PREDELLE.
priory a monastery or convent governed by a prior or prioress.
procathedral a parish church serving as a cathedral.
pronaos a vestibule in front of a temple > PRONAOI.
proseucha a place of prayer, an oratory > PROSEUCHAE.
proseuche a place of prayer, an oratory > PROSEUCHAE.
pulpit a raised structure for preaching from.
pulpital relating to a PULPIT.
pulpited having a PULPIT.
pulpitum a gigantic stone screen separating cathedral choir from the nave > PULPITUMS.
purgatory a place or state in which souls are after death purified from venial sins.
rectory a minister's or priest's house.
refectory the dining-hall of a monastery or other institution.
repository a side altar in a Catholic church.
reredorse reredos reredosse a usually ornamental wood/stone screen or wall behind an altar > REREDOSES, REREDOSSES.
retable retablo a shelf or ornamental setting for panels behind an altar.
retrochoir the part of a cathedral or large church behind the high altar.
revestiary revestry a vestry.
rood a cross or crucifix at the entrance to a church chancel.
sacrarial of or like a SACRARIUM.
sacrarium the sanctuary or sacristy (room housing sacred vessels) of a church; a piscina (stone basin for ablutions) > SACRARIA or SACRARIUMS.
sacristy a room in a church where sacred objects are kept.
sanctum a sacred place; a very private room > SANCTA or SANCTUMS.
schul shul a synagogue > SCHULN or SCHULS; SHULS or SHULN.
scriptorium a writing room, especially of scribes in medieval monastery > SCRIPTORIA or SCRIPTORIUMS.
sedile sedilium a kind of seat in a church, usu. in pl > SEDILIA.
sekos a sacred enclosure in an ancient Egyptian temple > SEKOSES.
sepulcher sepulchre a receptacle in an altar for holding religious relics; (verb) to place in a sepulcher.
sepulchrous of or like a SEPULCHRE.
shrinal relating to a SHRINE.
shrine a place of worship hallowed by association with a sacred person or object, esp. the tomb of a saint or other holy person; (verb) to build a shrine to.
shrinelike like a SHRINE.
shul see SCHUL.
spireless without a spire.
stasidion a stall in a Greek church > STASIDIONS.
stupa a mound or monument commemorative of Buddha.
subsellium one of the stalls of the lower range where there are two ranges > SUBSELLIA.
succah sukkah a hut or shelter roofed with branches, used by Jews as a temporary living accommodation during Sukkoth, the Festival of the Tabernacles > SUCCAHS. SUCCOT or SUCCOTH; SUKKOT, SUKKOTH or SUKKAHS.
synagog synagogue a Jewish church. [Gk. synagoge, from syn, together + agoge, a bringing, from agein to lead].
synagogal relating to a SYNAGOG, a Jewish church.
synthronus the seat of a bishop and his presbyters, behind the altar > SYNTHRONI.
tabernacle the tent carried by the Jews through the desert, used as a temple and to house the Ark of the Covenant; a tent or movable hut; (verb) to sojourn.
temenos a place dedicated to a god; a sacred precinct > TEMENE.
temple a building or place dedicated to the worship of a deity or deities.
templed supplied with or inclosed in a TEMPLE.
teocalli an ancient Mexican or Central American place of worship, usually consisting of a truncated pyramid surmounted by a temple > TEOCALLIS. [Nahuatl teotl, god + calli, house].
teopan a TEOCALLI, an Aztec pyramid temple.
theologate a seminary for RC priests.
toran torana in the Indian subcontinent, a sacred Buddhist gateway.
torii a Shinto temple gateway. No —S.
transenna a screen enclosing a SHRINE > TRANSENNAS. [L. transenna, trellis].
transept the part of a church off to one side of main structure.
transeptal of or like a TRANSEPT, the part of a church off to one side of main structure.
triapsal triapsidal having three APSES.
undercroft an underground room or vault, esp under a church; a CRYPT.
vestral relating to a VESTRY.
vestry a priest's dressing room.
vicarage the habitation of a vicar.
vihara a Buddhist or Jain temple or precinct.
vimana in the Indian subcontinent, the central tower enclosing the shrine in a temple.
wat a Thai Buddhist temple or monastery.
wicket a small door forming part of larger door of a church or castle.