nave

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nave (nāv), in general, all that part of a church that extends from the atrium to the altar and is intended exclusively for the laity. In a strictly architectural sense, however, the term indicates only the central aisle, excluding side aisles. The floor plan of a wide central portion with narrower aisles on either side existed in the typical hypostyle hall of Egyptian temples and later in the Roman civic basilicas. From the latter it passed into the churches of the early Middle Ages and gradually to Gothic cathedrals. The nave, in the developed Gothic style, became the main body of the structure. Internally the piers, rising the full height of the nave walls to carry the ribs of the four-part vault or sexpartite vault, divided the walls into a series of bays in which three features, ground floor arcade, triforium, and clerestory, were evident, one above another.

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nave. Central clerestoreyed aisle of a basilican church, or the main body of the church between the western wall and the chancel, whether aisled or not, used by the laity. The nave was often separated from the choir by a screen, and from the aisles by nave-arcades which support the clerestorey. A nave-chapel is one on either side of a nave, e.g. in aisles, separated by screens.

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nave1 / nāv/ • n. the central part of a church building, intended to accommodate most of the congregation. In traditional Western churches it is rectangular, separated from the chancel by a step or rail, and from adjacent aisles by pillars. nave2 • n. the hub of a wheel.

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nave1 central block of a wheel. OE. nafu and nafa, corr. to MDu. nave (Du. naaf), OHG. naba (G. nabe), ON. nǫf :- Gmc. *naƀō, rel. to Latv. naba navel, Skr. náƀhi- nave, navel; cf. NAVEL.

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nave the central part of a church building, intended to accommodate most of the congregation. In traditional Western churches it is rectangular, separated from the chancel by a step or rail, and from adjacent aisles by pillars. Recorded from the late 17th century, the word comes from Latin navis ‘ship’.

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nave2 main body of a church. XVII. — medL. spec. use of L. nāvis ship (see NAVAL).

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nave (Lat. navis, ship) Central, main area of a church or cathedral. It extends from the main entrance to the transepts and includes the main aisle. It is the congregation's seating area.