sanc·​ti·​fy | \ ˈsaŋ(k)-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce sanctify (audio) \
sanctified; sanctifying

Definition of sanctify

transitive verb

1 : to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : consecrate
2 : to free from sin : purify
3a : to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to
b : to give moral or social sanction to
4 : to make productive of holiness or piety observe the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it — Deuteronomy 5:12 (Douay Version)

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Synonyms for sanctify


cleanse, purge, purify

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Examples of sanctify in a Sentence

The priest sanctified their marriage. The constitution sanctified the rights of the people.

Recent Examples on the Web

Then wayward Diana appeared, shielded by stardom and sanctified by early death. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret’ Review: The Id of the Royal Family," 3 Aug. 2018 One of these states would be Israel, a homeland for Jews in territory sanctified for them by heritage and history. Martin Peretz, WSJ, "‘Rooted Cosmopolitans’ Review: Of Persons and Peoples," 8 May 2018 Paul’s defense of slavery, patriarchy and imperial power are used to sanctify an unjust status quo. Jonathan L. Walton, Time, "Why Authoritarians Love to Quote This Bible Passage," 22 June 2018 Whereas America had a vigorous debate around the Iran deal, European elites sanctified it, and the Obama administration praised them for it. Michael Doran And, WSJ, "Time to Make Up After Fighting Over Iran," 17 June 2018 But the songs — one sanctified, the other low-down — also reflect the remarkable range of Franklin's singing on this deep soul classic. Mikael Wood,, "The Velvet Underground, Aretha Franklin, Tiny Tim: An alternate history of music in 1968," 20 Apr. 2018 My book is earmarked, underlined, co-signed and sanctified. Angela Helm, The Root, "Brittney Cooper Talks Beyoncé, White Feminists and Black Women’s Oh-So-Eloquent Rage," 12 Apr. 2018 With her spur-of-the-moment turtleneck, Ms. Stone went a long way to democratizing the stark minimalism that designers like Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang were sanctifying in the ’90s. Rory Satran, WSJ, "How to Get Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s Radically Simple Style," 11 Apr. 2018 Notwithstanding, the kashrut laws carry powerful ethical lessons – lessons that can help ennoble and sanctify our lives. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "The rationale for the dietary laws," 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sanctify.' 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 sanctify

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanctify

Middle English seintefien, sanctifien, from Anglo-French seintefier, sanctifier, from Late Latin sanctificare, from Latin sanctus sacred — more at saint

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Time Traveler for sanctify

The first known use of sanctify was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of sanctify

: to make (something) holy
: to give official acceptance or approval to (something)

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More from Merriam-Webster on sanctify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sanctify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sanctify

Spanish Central: Translation of sanctify

Nglish: Translation of sanctify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sanctify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sanctify

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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