A platformmounted on two shafts, or a more elaborate construction, designed to be carried by two (or more) people to transport one (in luxury models sometimes more) third person(s) or (occasionally in the elaborate version) a cargo, such as a religious idol.
From Anglo-Norman litiere (modern French litière), from Medieval Latin lectaria, from Latin lectus; confer Ancient Greek λέκτρον. Had the sense ‘bed’ in very early English, but then came to mean ‘portable couch’, ‘bedding’, ‘strewn rushes (for animals)’, etc.
Modern English dictionary
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