- The definition of a hearse is a vehicle that transports a coffin carrying the dead.
The big car driven by an undertaker that the deceased's coffin goes in at a funeral is an example of a hearse.
The rear window of a hearse.
hearse definition by Webster's New World
- an automobile or carriage, used in a funeral for carrying the corpse
- a framelike structure above a coffin or tomb, for candles, hangings, etc.
- a triangular framework to hold candles at Tenebrae
- Archaic a bier or coffin
Origin: Middle English herce ; from Old French a harrow, grated portcullis ; from Classical Latin hirpex, a large rake with iron teeth ; from dial (Sabine) irpus, wolf (hence, literally , wolf-tooth device)
hearse definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A vehicle for conveying a coffin to a church or cemetery.
- Roman Catholic Church A triangular candelabrum used at Tenebrae during Holy Week.
- A framelike structure over a coffin or tomb on which to hang epitaphs.
Origin: Middle English herse, a harrow-shaped structure for holding candles over a coffin, from Old French herce, from Medieval Latin hercia, from Latin hirpex, hirpic-, harrow, probably from Oscan hirpus, wolf (alluding to its teeth).