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

Though Barbara is the sympathetic center of the story, she is not sanctified, nor is Ron merely a caricature of thuggishness. New York Times, "Review: Surviving a Family From Hell in ‘We’re Only Alive’," 27 June 2019 But June 17th is not sanctified in political memory, and the Egyptian state media didn’t mention the coincidence of Morsi dying on this date. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency," 19 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for sanctify

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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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

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to complain fretfully

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