A phylactery (speech scroll) in a painting.



  • Either of the two small leather cases, containing biblical scrolls, worn by Jewish men at morning prayer; the tefilla.
  • A case in which (Christian) relics were preserved.
  • Any small object worn for its magical or supernatural power; an amulet or charm.
  • An enspelled object used (by such as a lich) to contain and protect the owner's soul.
  • A speech scroll, an illustrative device depicting speech, song or other sound as if written on a scroll.


Similar words


  • Recorded since circa 1380, Middle English philaterie, either from Old French filatiere (12th c), or via Medieval Latin philaterium, an alteration of Late Latin phylacterium, from Ancient Greek φυλακτήριον ("safeguard, amulet"), via adjective φυλακτήριος, from φυλακτήρ, itself from φυλάσσω, from φύλαξ.

Modern English dictionary

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