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In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a touchable or tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions.


The word relic comes from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains" or "something left behind" (the same root as relinquish). A reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics.

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin reliquiae (“remains, relics”), from relinquō (“I leave behind, abandon, relinquish”), from re- + linquō (“I leave, quit, forsake, depart from”).

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