• WordNet 3.6
    • n reredos a painted or carved screen placed above and behind an altar or communion table
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Reredos (Arch) A screen or partition wall behind an altar.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n reredos In architecture, the back of a fireplace, or of an open fire-hearth, as commonly used in domestic halls of medieval times and the Renaissance; the iron plate often forming the back of a fireplace in which andirons are used.
    • n reredos A screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church, especially when the altar does not stand free, but against the wall; an altarpiece. Compare altarpiece and retable.
    • n reredos In medieval armor, same as backpiece.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Reredos rēr′dos the wall or screen at the back of an altar, usually in the form of a screen detached from the east wall, adorned with niches, statues, &c., or with paintings or tapestry: the back of an open fire-hearth, in medieval halls.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From rear, + F. dos, back, L. dorsum,. Cf. Dorsal
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr., rere, rear, dos—L. dorsum, back.


In literature:

The chapel possesses in its reredos a work of art which is one of the chief goals of the sightseer in Oxford.
"Oxford" by Frederick Douglas How
The side aisles do not extend beyond the reredos arch.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul" by Arthur Dimock
And the most wonderful reredos.
"The Trail of the Hawk" by Sinclair Lewis
I might not: she was cleaning the reredos.
"Highways and Byways in Surrey" by Eric Parker
To the fourteenth century belong the massive stone rood-screen, and the reredos.
"Bournemouth, Poole & Christchurch" by Sidney Heath
The reredos was especially fine.
"An Ohio Woman in the Philippines" by Emily Bronson Conger
Behind the reredos a platform extends a short distance into this chapel at a height of six feet above the floor.
"England, Picturesque and Descriptive" by Joel Cook
A carved wooden reredos has recently been presented by Col. and Mrs. Stack.
"A History of Horncastle from the earliest period to the present time" by James Conway Walter
Dr. Rock also quotes the reredos belonging to the Vintners' Company, representing St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar.
"Needlework As Art" by Marian Alford
Inside the reja, a few steps above the tombs, rises Philip Vigarny's, or Borgona's, elaborate reredos.
"Cathedrals of Spain" by John A. (John Allyne) Gade