sac·​ra·​ment | \ ˈsa-krə-mənt \

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

That sentence would mean that the former cardinal would no longer be allowed to celebrate Mass, administer the sacraments or identify himself as a priest. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican Aims to Expedite Trial of U.S. Archbishop," 5 Jan. 2019 In 1957, China established the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association to oversee Catholic churches, but the Vatican, despite some recognition of the authority of its priests to administer sacraments, does not fully recognize it. Jason Horowitz And Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, "Worries Rise as Pope and China Edge Closer to Deal on Bishops," 9 Feb. 2018 About half of the churchgoers left the black-and-gold worship room immediately after receiving their sacrament, with some heading straight to the gift shop to stock up. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Thank you, God, for the weed’: Pot churches proliferate as states ease access to marijuana," 12 Jan. 2018 These are the first of the Catholic sacraments: Reconciliation is when a child confesses his or her sins to a priest, who then prescribes a penance to cleanse the soul. Mary Beth Keane, Vogue, "Amid Scandal After Scandal, One Catholic Mother Faces A Painful Choice," 6 Dec. 2018 Ironically, the sacrament of confession is under scrutiny at a time when ever fewer Catholics are making use of it. Rob Taylor And, WSJ, "New Laws Require Priests to Break the ‘Seal of Confession’," 3 Aug. 2018 Then conclude at the most contemplative, and strongest, third — the gowns evoking orders and sacraments at the Cloisters. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Heavenly Bodies’ Brings the Fabric of Faith to the Met," 9 May 2018 The two men will be forbidden from celebrating Mass, administering the sacraments or identifying themselves as priests. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Pope Defrocks Chilean Bishops Accused of Sex Abuse," 13 Oct. 2018 Many conservatives accused Francis of going beyond even what the synod participants had agreed to in his subsequent document opening the door to letting these Catholics receive the sacraments. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Pope gives bishops more decision-making options," 18 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for sacrament

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of sacrament

: an important Christian ceremony (such as baptism or marriage)

the Sacrament : the bread and wine that are eaten and drunk during the Christian ceremony of Communion


sac·​ra·​ment | \ ˈsa-krə-mənt \

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

Spanish Central: Translation of sacrament

Nglish: Translation of sacrament for Spanish Speakers

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

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