Phy*lac"ter*y (?), n.; pl. Phylacteries (#). [OE. filateri, OF. filatire, filatiere, F. phylactere, L. phylacterium, Gr. , fr. a watcher, guard, to watch, guard. Cf. Philatory.]
Any charm or amulet worn as a preservative from danger or disease.
A small square box, made either of parchment or of black calfskin, containing slips of parchment or vellum on which are written the scriptural passages Exodus xiii. 2-10, and 11-17, Deut. vi. 4-9, 13-22. They are worn by Jews on the head and left arm, on week-day mornings, during the time of prayer.
Among the primitive Christians, a case in which the relics of the dead were inclosed.
© Webster 1913.