A portico or lobby of an early Christian or Byzantine church or basilica, originally separated from the nave by a railing or screen.(noun)
An entrance hall leading to the nave of a church.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "narthex" in a sentence
"A narthex is not a gathering space or overflow social hall; it is a place of transition from world outside to the heavenly reality within."
"While it is being called a narthex, that is precisely the one thing which the structure is not."
"The extension to the cathedral is being described as a narthex; it is, however, a large, three-story octagonal structure vaguely reminiscent of a baptistery and will include a basement crypt for the burial of archbishops and a top-story performance space seating 100 people; in between will be a gathering space for worshippers before and after mass."