Definition of Calvary in English:


(also calvary)

Pronunciation /ˈkalv(ə)rē/ /ˈkælv(ə)ri/

Translate Calvary into Spanish

proper noun

  • The hill outside Jerusalem on which Jesus was crucified.


  • 1A sculpture or picture representing the scene of the Crucifixion.

    ‘His last work was inspired by a fragment of the 14th-century sculptor Claus Sluter's ruined Calvary.’
    • ‘The history of this Calvary, like many others constructed in Brittany, has been reported through the centuries as a "mixture of truth and legends".’
    • ‘Intended to make the Gospels known to a population that could not read or write, the Calvary is a sort of open-air picture book.’
    • ‘The museum possesses a panel painting of a Calvary from a monastic cell by the court painter Jean de Beaumetz.’
    • ‘Originally its hexagonal socle, or base, supported a Calvary group simulating the Hill of Golgotha.’
    • ‘The Calvary group was largely destroyed during the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘It will replace the cloth banner on the left of the altar and will compliment the Calvary on the right.’
    • ‘He wishes to see The Calvary restored to what it was formerly.’
    • ‘A wooden cross was provided as an interim measure but since then the base of the Calvary has been allowed to deteriorate.’
    • ‘Blessing of the newly erected Calvary took place after Mass.’
  • 2An experience of extreme suffering.

    ‘He envisions his own calvary as one of torment by a conservative critic.’
    • ‘He brings an impressive sensitivity to his portrayal of the wounded IRA man on the run in a snowy, nocturnal Belfast, struggling towards his personal Calvary through the gathering shadows.’
    • ‘His basic idea is that suffering represents for each of us a private Calvary.’
    • ‘Mary Jane is particularly compelling, the story of her own little calvary like a still, quiet voice amid all the sound and fury.’
    • ‘They suffered a new and terrible Calvary not by crucifixion but by fire.’
    • ‘It was more like a low ranting wail directed to the Lord, asking for patience and strength to endure her Calvary.’
    • ‘Innocent people were subjected to calvary itself: condemned as guilty for the "crime" of being who they were.’
    • ‘Life, for our woman, is one long Calvary.’
    • ‘Many Italians saw the Pope's journey as less of a pilgrimage and more of a Calvary.’
    • ‘Faced with his own personal Calvary, Father James tries to reach out to many, while looking for his potential killer.’


From late Latin calvaria ‘skull’, translation of Greek golgotha ‘place of a skull’ (Matt. 27:33) (see Golgotha).