- a string of beads, consisting typically of one short set followed by a loop of five (sometimes fifteen) full sets of beads (there are one large bead and ten small beads in each full set), used to keep count as one prays: the Apostle's Creed is said at the beginning; at each large bead an Our Father; at each small one, a Hail Mary; at the end of each set, the lesser doxology
- this group of prayers
- any string of beads used in praying
Origin of rosaryMiddle English rosarie ; from Classical Latin rosarium, rose garden (in ML, rosary, garland of roses) ; from neuter of rosarius, of roses ; from rosa, rose
- Roman Catholic Church a. A form of devotion to the Virgin Mary, chiefly consisting of three sets of five decades each of the Hail Mary, each decade preceded by the Lord's Prayer and ending with a doxology.b. One of these sets of decades.c. A string of beads of 5 or 15 decades on which these prayers are counted.
- Similar beads used by other religious groups.
Origin of rosaryMiddle English, rose garden, from Medieval Latin rosarium, rose garden, rosary, from Latin, rose garden, from neuter of rosarius, of roses, from rosa, rose.
- A series of prayers, usually made up of five, fifteen, or twenty decades of Hail Marys, each decade beginning with Our Father and ending with a Glory Be to the Father, sometimes including other prayers used in Roman Catholicism, and the Anglican, Lutheran, and Old Catholic churches.
- A string of beads used to keep track of repetitions in praying or mantras, and particularly in counting the prayers said in a rosary, by members of various religions or denominations other than Roman Catholicism such as Hinduism or the Anglican Church
- A series or collection, as of beautiful thoughts or of literary selections.
- A coin bearing the figure of a rose, fraudulently circulated in Ireland in the 13th century for a penny.