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

a : communion sense 2a

b : blessed 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

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been helping the couple prepare for their wedding in May, officiated the sacraments., "Why Meghan Markle Converted To Marry Prince Harry," 8 Mar. 2018 People have been using cannabis as a spiritual sacrament dating back to ancient China several thousand years ago. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway on the spending bill, funding for the wall," 24 Mar. 2018 Through a friend, my mom got a meeting with a priest, who handed her a stack of paperwork to homeschool me on the sacrament. Sara Eckel, Longreads, "The Hole in My Soul," 1 June 2018 Catholics understand that the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession, consists not only of confession and forgiveness—but penance. James Martin, WSJ, "The Missing Link in Sex-Abuse Reform," 20 May 2018 Phillips is barred from performing any priestly duties, including administering the sacraments. Elvia Malagon,, "Longtime pastor removed from St. John Cantius Catholic Parish amid investigation," 18 Mar. 2018 Looking to reverse dwindling membership, Church leaders are launching a new outreach to other Christian congregations, in a move that could bring some Holy Rolling, New World preaching styles to its venerable halls of stone and sacrament. Robert Stevens, The Christian Science Monitor, "Church of England's outreach effort may mean end of 'snobbishness'," 5 July 2018 No word if Middleton, who was baptized as a child, also received a bracelet after receiving the sacrament. Shannon Carlin,, "Meghan Markle Marked Her Baptism With Meaningful Bling," 11 Mar. 2018 One bishop from the U.S.-Mexico border region reportedly suggested 'canonical penalties' — which could refer to withholding the sacrament of Communion — for Catholics involved in implementing the Trump policies. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP senator urges love for LGBT youths in Pride Month speech," 14 June 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

6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sacrament

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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