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con·​se·​crate ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkrāt How to pronounce consecrate (audio)
: dedicated to a sacred purpose


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consecrated; consecrating

transitive verb

: to induct (a person) into a permanent office with a religious rite
especially : to ordain to the office of bishop
: to make or declare sacred
especially : to devote irrevocably to the worship of God by a solemn ceremony
consecrate a church
: to effect the liturgical transubstantiation of (eucharistic bread and wine)
: to devote to a purpose with or as if with deep solemnity or dedication
: to make inviolable or venerable
principles consecrated by the weight of history
consecrative adjective
consecrator noun
consecratory adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for consecrate

devote, dedicate, consecrate, hallow mean to set apart for a special and often higher end.

devote is likely to imply compelling motives and often attachment to an objective.

devoted his evenings to study

dedicate implies solemn and exclusive devotion to a sacred or serious use or purpose.

dedicated her life to medical research

consecrate stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality.

consecrate a church to the worship of God

hallow, often differing little from dedicate or consecrate, may distinctively imply an attribution of intrinsic sanctity.

battlegrounds hallowed by the blood of patriots

Example Sentences

Adjective the consecrate gold tablets which Joseph Smith claimed to have found Verb a philanthropist who consecrated his considerable fortune to an array of charitable causes plans to consecrate the altar in the new church with great ceremony
Recent Examples on the Web
Lana Del Rey doesn’t toy with signs—of American glamour and its decay, of female melancholia and racial desire—so much as consecrate them. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2023
He was consecrated an Apostolic bishop in 1970, and elevated in 1985 to the office of presiding bishop of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ International. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Baltimore Sun, 26 May 2023 And as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, so may you be anointed, blessed, and consecrated King over the peoples, whom the Lord your God has given you to rule and govern; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Town & Country, 7 May 2023 King Charles' coronation oil was made using olives harvested from groves at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension in Jerusalem's old city, before being consecrated at the Church of Holy Sepulchre in March, where Christians believe Jesus was crucified. Leila Sackur, NBC News, 6 May 2023 The Chrism oil used in his coronation was in Jerusalem in March to be consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III and Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, 6 May 2023 Everything inside was urbs, city space consecrated by priests who interpreted the will of the gods; everything outside was ager — unhallowed open territory. David Laskin Martin Pauer, New York Times, 1 May 2023 More significantly, though, writing a constitution that does more than simply consecrate the current situation will still mean making the choice that confronted the state’s founding generation: between a genuinely democratic state and one that constitutionally upholds Jewish supremacy. Joshua Leifer, The New York Review of Books, 13 Apr. 2023 The ceremony took place at 10 a.m. local time in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, with the oil consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, The Most Reverend Hosam Naoum. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 3 Mar. 2023 In August of 1994, Morton was consecrated to the Office of Bishop within the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, under the leadership of his brother, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 2 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'consecrate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Adjective

Middle English, from Latin consecratus, past participle of consecrare, from com- + sacrare to consecrate — more at sacred

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of consecrate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near consecrate

Cite this Entry

“Consecrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


consecrated; consecrating
: to make or declare sacred : to set apart to the service of God
: to devote to a purpose in a very sincere manner


Middle English consecraten "to consecrate," derived from Latin consecrare "to make holy," from con-, com- "together" and sacrare "to consecrate," from sacr-, sacer "sacred" — related to sacred

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