sanc·​ti·​ty | \ ˈsaŋ(k)-tə-tē How to pronounce sanctity (audio) \
plural sanctities

Definition of sanctity

1 : holiness of life and character : godliness
2a : the quality or state of being holy or sacred : inviolability
b sanctities plural : sacred objects, obligations, or rights

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of sanctity in a Sentence

the sanctity of the elderly nun shone through in her every word and gesture

Recent Examples on the Web

In my opinion, the Alabama law is not about the sanctity of life at all. J.d. Crowe |,, "Alabama roadkill: Women’s rights are GOP red dead meat," 3 June 2019 While it’s not considered unethical to see friends of friends, some individual therapists would prefer not to do that given the sanctity of each relationship. SELF, "Is It a Bad Idea to See the Same Therapist as Someone You Know?," 24 Jan. 2019 Our stories, our safety, our sanctity—all of these finally seemed to land at the center of public recognition and response. Jennifer Weiss-wolf, Harper's BAZAAR, "Even If Kavanaugh Gets Confirmed, We Must Fight For the Violence Against Women Act," 4 Oct. 2018 American history can be seen as a continual struggle to keep this promise—to extend respect to all types of difference and to honor the sanctity of every individual. WSJ, "The Paradox of American Anti-Semitism," 2 Nov. 2018 Psychiatrists often will put minimal details in the notes, particularly in regards to psychotherapy, to further protect the sanctity of the patient-provider relationship. SELF, "9 Awkward Questions You Probably Want to Ask Your New Therapist," 31 Oct. 2018 Image Conservative religious leaders who have long preached about the sanctity of the family are now issuing sharp rebukes of the Trump administration for immigration policies that tear families apart or leave them in danger. Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, "Conservative Religious Leaders Are Denouncing Trump Immigration Policies," 14 June 2018 These are the actions of someone who cares, what, about democracy and the sanctity of your vote? Fox News, "Hannity: Anonymous op-ed writer needs to come forward," 6 Sep. 2018 According to the site, the community was founded in 1889 as a revival movement within Islam and emphasizes teachings of peace, love, justice and sanctity of life. Washington Post, "Four men are shot in Northeast D.C.," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sanctity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sanctity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanctity

Middle English saunctite, from Anglo-French sainteté, from Latin sanctitat-, sanctitas, from sanctus sacred

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sanctity

Statistics for sanctity

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sanctity

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sanctity



English Language Learners Definition of sanctity

: the quality or state of being holy, very important, or valuable

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sanctity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sanctity

Spanish Central: Translation of sanctity

Nglish: Translation of sanctity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sanctity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sanctity

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!