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

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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 the past, Louis C.K. has questioned the value of life, mocking its sanctity and downplaying its importance, but this grim image goes just as far in undercutting the solemnity of death. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Louis C.K. Doubles Down on the Value of Saying the Wrong Thing," 4 Nov. 2019 Reagan is the only character in the book who insists on the sanctity of her job. Jessica Weisberg, The New Yorker, "Can Surrogacy Remake the World?," 11 Dec. 2019 Kass notes the sanctity of the police profession can be found as far back as the Bible and Torah. Fox News, "NYPD’s longest serving officer, Rabbi Alvin Kass, protects those who serve to protect all," 28 Sep. 2019 Libertarians, equally hostile to modern dictatorships, appeal instead to the sanctity of the individual. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "Moving Portrait," 4 June 2019 Much like the reasoning cited by his fellow Arizonan Sen. John McCain ahead of his iconic health care vote, Flake says his efforts came down to one thing: protecting the sanctity of the confirmation process. Li Zhou, Vox, "Jeff Flake explains his last-minute shift on Kavanaugh," 28 Sep. 2018 But the idea faces tough opposition from the Catholic Church and allied groups that see the practice as a violation of the sanctity of life. Washington Post, "Minnesota lawmakers will hear disputed assisted suicide bill," 11 Sep. 2019 The uninterrupted peace, the sanctity of a place that breathes a quiet, powerful wildness inspires a sense of reverence, even sacredness, in many people. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hike through some of Wisconsin's oldest and biggest trees in these old-growth forests," 24 Oct. 2019 Official Secrets is a story about political accountability and the sanctity of truth. Martin Bright, Time, "How to Rethink Whistleblowing for Today's Post-Truth World," 16 Oct. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for sanctity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sanctity

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sanctity.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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How to pronounce sanctity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sanctity

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

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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).


to insert between existing elements

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