sac·​er·​do·​tal | \ ˌsa-sər-ˈdō-tᵊl How to pronounce sacerdotal (audio) , ˌsa-kər- \

Definition of sacerdotal

1 : of or relating to priests or a priesthood : priestly sacerdotal robes sacerdotal authority
2 : of, relating to, or suggesting sacerdotalism

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Other Words from sacerdotal

sacerdotally \ ˌsa-​sər-​ˈdō-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce sacerdotally (audio) , ˌsa-​kər-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for sacerdotal



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Sacerdotal is one of a host of English words derived from the Latin adjective sacer, meaning "sacred." Other words derived from "sacer" include "desecrate," "sacrifice," "sacrilege," "consecrate," "sacrament," and even "execrable" (developed from the Latin word exsecrari, meaning "to put under a curse"). One unlikely "sacer" descendant is "sacrum," referring to the series of five vertebrae in the lower back connected to the pelvis. In Latin this bone was called the "os sacrum," or "holy bone," a translation of the Greek hieron osteon.

Examples of sacerdotal in a Sentence

sacerdotal garments such as a cassock and miter
Recent Examples on the Web Diminution drains this office of the sacerdotal pomposities that have encrusted it. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "'We Pretended That the Emperor Wasn’t Naked'," 1 Aug. 2017 The brand inspires a sacerdotal devotion in many of its workers (its archives contain the papers of one of the atelier’s premieres, or heads, who served from 1947 to 1990). Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "Atop Dior, Balancing Art and Commerce," 1 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sacerdotal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sacerdotal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sacerdotal

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin sacerdotalis, from sacerdot-, sacerdos priest, from sacer sacred + -dot-, -dos (akin to facere to make) — more at sacred, do

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The first known use of sacerdotal was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sacerdotal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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