Definitions for narthexˈnɑr θɛks
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of a church.
Origin of narthex:
1665–75; < LGk nárthēx
portico at the west end of an early Christian basilica or church
a vestibule leading to the nave of a church
A western vestibule leading to the nave in some (especially Orthodox) Christian churches.
a tall umbelliferous plant (Ferula communis). See Giant fennel, under Fennel
the portico in front of ancient churches; sometimes, the atrium or outer court surrounded by ambulatories; -- used, generally, for any vestibule, lobby, or outer porch, leading to the nave of a church
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a space in early churches railed off from the rest for catechumens and penitents.