1. A reading desk with a slanted top used to hold a sacred text from which passages are read in a religious service.
2. A stand that serves as a support for the notes or books of a speaker.
[Middle English lettorne, lectorn, from Old French lettrun, from Medieval Latin lēctrīnum, from Late Latin lēctrum, from Latin lēctus, past participle of legere, to read; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.