) KEY NOUN: pl. phy·lac·ter·ies
- Judaism Either of two small leather boxes, each containing strips of parchment inscribed with quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures, one of which is strapped to the forehead and the other to the left arm; traditionally worn by Jewish men during morning worship, except on the Sabbath and holidays.
- An amulet.
- A reminder.
Middle English filaterie, philacterie
, from Old French filatiere
, from Late Latin phylactrium
, from Greek phulaktrion
, guard's post, safeguard, phylactery
, from phulaktr
, from phulax, phulak-