sac·​ra·​ment | \ ˈsa-krə-mənt How to pronounce sacrament (audio) \

Definition of sacrament

1a : a Christian rite (such as baptism or the Eucharist) that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality
b : a religious rite or observance comparable to a Christian sacrament
3 : something likened to a religious sacrament saw voting as a sacrament of democracy

Examples of sacrament in a Sentence

They stood in line to receive the Sacrament.
Recent Examples on the Web My sister distributed sacrament all across the country. Chris Rush, Harper's magazine, "Love and Acid," 19 Aug. 2019 In the end, helping her mother end her life felt like a sacrament. Tara Bahrampour, Twin Cities, "Woman chose to end her life by not eating; daughter filmed last days," 4 Nov. 2019 In the end, helping her mother end her life felt like a sacrament. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "At 94, she was ready to die by fasting. Her daughter filmed it.," 4 Nov. 2019 Like the kind of thing Jesus would ask the disciples and hardheaded Peter would always get wrong. Fly and Brent were smoking up every Sunday before church now, like a regular sacrament. Tiphanie Yanique, The New Yorker, "God’s Caravan," 28 Oct. 2019 Rastafarians view its use as a sacrament bringing them closer to God. Kristin E. Holmes,, "Religious communities consider how much faith to put in marijuana," 26 Aug. 2019 Other parishes are more accepting of gay people and would not hold back this sacrament, Smolenski said. Monica Haider, CNN, "Catholic diocese denies gay Michigan judge communion," 30 Nov. 2019 This Easter, Romero made her first Holy Communion and confirmation, sacraments that officially brought her into the fold. Elaine Ayala,, "Mission Concepción loomed large in Romero’s Catholic conversion," 16 Nov. 2019 The 7 Swans A-swimming are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments. Katie Bourque, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the "12 Days of Christmas" Meaning," 30 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of sacrament

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sacrament

Middle English sacrement, sacrament, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin sacramentum, from Latin, oath of allegiance, obligation, from sacrare to consecrate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sacrament

Time Traveler for sacrament

Time Traveler

The first known use of sacrament was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sacrament

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sacrament.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sacrament


How to pronounce sacrament (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sacrament

: an important Christian ceremony (such as baptism or marriage)
: the bread and wine that are eaten and drunk during the Christian ceremony of Communion


sac·​ra·​ment | \ ˈsa-krə-mənt How to pronounce sacrament (audio) \

Kids Definition of sacrament

: a Christian religious act or ceremony that is considered especially sacred

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sacrament

Spanish Central: Translation of sacrament

Nglish: Translation of sacrament for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sacrament for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sacrament

Comments on sacrament

What made you want to look up sacrament? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!