Lych-gate meaning

lĭchgāt
A roofed gateway to a churchyard used originally as a resting place for a bier before burial.
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A churchyard gateway with a roof, under which a corpse was laid during a funeral to await the arrival of the clergyman.
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Origin of lych-gate

  • Middle English lycheyate lyche corpse, body (from Old English līc līk- in Indo-European roots) gate, yate gate gate1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From lich (“corpse") +"Ž gate.

    From Wiktionary