- 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.
- 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 of hearseMiddle 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)
- A vehicle for conveying a coffin to a church or cemetery.
- Christianity A triangular candelabrum used at Tenebrae during Holy Week.
- A framelike structure over a coffin or tomb on which to hang epitaphs.
Origin of hearseMiddle 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).
- A hind in the second year of its age.
- A framework of wood or metal placed over the coffin or tomb of a deceased person, and covered with a pall; also, a temporary canopy bearing wax lights and set up in a church, under which the coffin was placed during the funeral ceremonies.
- A grave, coffin, tomb, or sepulchral monument.
- A bier or handbarrow for conveying the dead to the grave.
- A carriage or vehicle specially adapted or used for transporting a dead person to the place of funeral or to the grave.
(third-person singular simple present hearses, present participle hearsing, simple past and past participle hearsed)
From Old French herce, from Medieval Latin hercia, from Latin herpicem, hirpex; ultimately from Oscan (“wolf”), a reference to the teeth. The Oscan term is related to Latin hirsutus (“bristly, shaggy”).