ETYM Late Lat. rosarium a string of beads, Latin rosarium a place planted with roses, rosa a rose: cf. French rosaire. Related to Rose.
Beads used in counting prayers (especially Catholic rosary); SYN. prayer beads.
String of beads used in a number of religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The term also refers to a form of prayer used by Catholics, consisting of 150 Ave Marias and 15 Paternosters and Glorias, or to a string of 165 beads for keeping count of these prayers; it is linked with the adoration of the Virgin Mary.