Definition of rosary in English:


Translate rosary into Spanish

nounplural noun rosaries

  • 1(in the Roman Catholic Church) a form of devotion in which five (or fifteen) decades of Hail Marys are repeated, each decade preceded by an Our Father and followed by a Glory Be.

    ‘the congregation said the rosary’
    • ‘Isabella felt so blessed by God that she offered two novenas, three rosaries and gave more donations to the order she was part of.’
    • ‘Feasts of the village patron saint are celebrated, the rosary said every evening and funeral rites arranged and paid for when necessary.’
    • ‘The mission began each morning with a Mass at five o'clock, followed by a second at nine-thirty and rosary in the evenings at seven with instruction.’
    • ‘After a relative's funeral, families and their friends pray the rosary for nine evenings, offering refreshments after each night's prayers.’
    • ‘After the walk, she says the rosary, sometimes all 150 Hail Marys.’
    • ‘After each vision I would find the nearest church, seek sanctuary, kneel, and pray the rosary.’
    • ‘She found an empty place in a pew in the back of the church and after she genuflected, knelt and began her rosary.’
    • ‘It had been a day or two since I had sat in a dimmed church, all alone, to say the rosary.’
    • ‘Nevertheless about 10 per cent of the early convicts were Catholics, and a network formed among emancipists to pray the rosary and maintain other devotional practices.’
    • ‘They took communion; they recited the rosary (an increasingly popular devotion in this period); and they made their confessions, usually to a priest or a friar.’
    • ‘I'm not one of those church-going kids who prays the rosary every night.’
    • ‘Do the Catholics make you say the rosary before lunch?’
    • ‘He holds a degree from Northwestern University, speaks four languages fluently and as ‘a good Catholic boy’ he prayed the rosary after Mass every Sunday.’
    • ‘Instead of saying the rosary, I kept saying her name as I paced my office wishing that I smoked (it was fine in the end).’
    • ‘Occasionally he would pray the rosary during the week.’
    • ‘The old ladies were praying a rosary in the back of the bus.’
    • ‘Claudette couldn't concentrate on the epistle or the gospel, couldn't settle down to the rosary.’
    1. 1.1A string of beads for keeping count in a rosary or in the devotions of some other religions.
      ‘she is telling her rosary’
      • ‘rosary beads’
      • ‘One man was holding a long string of rosary beads in his trembling hands.’
      • ‘She had her rosary beads, and was praying to St. Catherine.’
      • ‘Her head was bowed, lips moving silently as she clutched her rosary beads.’
      • ‘On the cot a seventy four-year lady is sitting with her rosary beads and chanting softly.’
      • ‘Some delay to ensure every petal on their rose, each side of their prayer card and every bead of their rosary makes contact.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath of his own, Patrick looked over at his mother as she slowly rocked back and forth, counting the beads of her rosary.’
      • ‘He sighed deeply and I could hear him shift his fingers through the beads of his rosary.’
      • ‘I stroked the beads of the rosary, and the glitter of the tiny crucifix caught my eye.’
      • ‘People I've never met before have sent me novena cards and rosary beads, and two or three people apologised to me and wished me support.’
      • ‘She went to Mass when she could get a ride; she ran her fingers over her plastic rosary, saying Hail Marys with each bead.’
      • ‘With her free hand in her pocket, clutching her rosary, she steeled herself against the crowd and followed Sean into the gym.’
      • ‘I put on my wedding band and I grabbed my rosary, and I went upstairs.’
      • ‘The cousin put away his rosary and put on a confessional grin to admit, correctly in our eyes, that ‘Well, I guess it helps to have a Lutheran in the stands every now and then.’’
      • ‘According to chronicler William of Malmesbury, her dying act was characteristically pious: as a final gift to the Priory, she ordered hung about the neck of a statue of the Virgin Mary her personal rosary of precious stones.’
      • ‘It still has the red-beaded rosary I left on top of it when I came to visit.’
      • ‘She lifted the rosary that hung at her belt and gently kissed it.’
      • ‘For the final touch, she'd added a rosary made of black glass and pewter, finishing off the look she was going for perfectly.’
      • ‘He made the sign of the cross and grabbed his rosary.’
      • ‘I'll look for the rosary Mama gave me on my birthday.’
      • ‘So we can use things like crosses, holy water, bibles, rosaries, and even something as small as a speck of holy ashes.’
      strand, rope, necklace, rosary, chaplet
    2. 1.2A book containing a rosary.
      ‘There are shops and stalls where you can buy rosaries, beads, postcards, books and fluffy toys.’
      • ‘Their mailbox is packed daily with letters from well-wishers containing prayer cards, medals and rosaries.’



/ˈrōz(ə)rē/ /ˈroʊz(ə)ri/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘rose garden’): from Latin rosarium ‘rose garden’, based on rosa ‘rose’.