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
2 capitalized
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 For the second year in a row, the Vatican cut out the traditional sacrament of baptism for a handful of adults to limit the chance of contagion. Nicole Winfield,, "Pope urges hope amid pandemic at Easter vigil: ‘It is always possible to begin anew’," 3 Apr. 2021 The angel who taught church founder Joseph Smith about the sacrament. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Latest from Mormon Land: How COVID may have slowed church growth; remembering Chieko Okazaki," 1 Apr. 2021 The green cathedral has its own stations of the cross and liturgy, its sacrament of reconciliation (carbon offsets), its saints and martyrs (Greta Thunberg), its sacred scripture, its confession of faith and apostles’ creed . . . Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Treasurys Tremble," 13 Mar. 2021 The floor of the small room where Mr. Karcher keeps chalices and the sacrament was rocking like a water bed. New York Times, "‘Like We’re Being Cursed’: First Covid and Now Waterlogged Homes," 22 Feb. 2021 There was the tut-tutting at the maskless joggers, the shaming of those who’d fled the city—those who had the luxury of flight—and the nightly sacrament of applause for the front-liners who were caring for the sick. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "New York’s Year of COVID," 7 Mar. 2021 In the Catholic faith, the last rites are a sacrament preparing a person to enter heaven. Star Tribune, "Chaplains adapt to new COVID-19 calling," 5 Dec. 2020 Several clergy members have even gone as far as insisting that faith in the communion sacrament can shield people from the virus. New York Times, "Greek Orthodox Church Faces Criticism as Virus Hits Its Ranks," 5 Dec. 2020 Wilder’s table marks a rite, like a sacrament, where a congregation of people figuratively and literally break bread. Maya Phillips, New York Times, "Eat Up! Drama is Served at These Family Dinners," 25 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for sacrament

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sacrament

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sacrament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sacrament



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sacrament

Nglish: Translation of sacrament for Spanish Speakers

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

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