Apse



Architecture. a semicircular or polygonal termination or recess in a building, usually vaulted and used especially at the end of a choir in a church.
Astronomy. an apsis.
Historical Examples

The aisles were vaulted, and the semi-dome of the apse was decorated with mosaics on a gold ground.
The Shores of the Adriatic F. Hamilton Jackson

In the chancel-arch there are two clustered columns, and also in the nave and apse.
The Story of Rouen Sir Theodore Andrea Cook

Would Wren have approved of the breaking of the vista by shutting out the windows of the apse?
Bell’s Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul Arthur Dimock

Nothing is said about a permanent tribunal or about an apse.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 Various

There are two altars, one at the choir entrance and the other in the apse, each surmounted by a triptych.
The Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine Francis Miltoun

West of the transept, entered by a tall and wide arch, was the apse.
The Ground Plan of the English Parish Church A. Hamilton Thompson

This apse now presents the aspect of a perfect scheme of architecture.
The Spell of the Heart of France Andr Hallays

The use of the apse is discussed by Lenoir, Architecture Monastique, 4to.
The Care of Books John Willis Clark

The apse windows, meant to be seen, in face and from a distance, are filled with color.
How France Built Her Cathedrals Elizabeth Boyle O’Reilly

However, it was these portions of the transept and the apse which had the least suffered.
The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Emile Zola

noun
Also called apsis. a domed or vaulted semicircular or polygonal recess, esp at the east end of a church
(astronomy) another name for apsis (sense 1)
n.

“semicircular extension at the end of a church,” 1846, from Latin apsis “an arch, a vault,” from Greek hapsis (Ionic apsis) “loop, arch,” originally “a fastening, felloe of a wheel,” from haptein “fasten together,” of unknown origin. The original sense in Greek seems to have been the joining of the arcs to form a circle, especially in making a wheel. The architectural term is earlier attested in English in the Latin form (1706).

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