sanc·​ti·​ty ˈsaŋ(k)-tə-tē How to pronounce sanctity (audio)
plural sanctities
: holiness of life and character : godliness
: the quality or state of being holy or sacred : inviolability
sanctities plural : sacred objects, obligations, or rights

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 Long Live Montero, Estrada and Manuel include an interview clip of Little Richard proclaiming the sanctity of vulnerability and openness. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Sep. 2023 Here was my basic point: American Jews need to restore both sanity and sanctity to the bar/bat/b’nai mitzvah (which many communities now call b-mitzvah or bet mitzvah). The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Sep. 2023 Roy Brouwer, an environmental economist at the University of Waterloo, who conducted a study on the economic value of the Amazon rainforest, says that Indigenous populations tend to place an extremely high value on the environmental sanctity of the forest. Anna Gordon, Time, 22 Aug. 2023 The classy move would have been to stay above it — the sanctity of the pinstripes and all that — but that’s not reality. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2023 Democracy—the rule of law, the equality of citizenship, the balance of governmental powers, the freedom to speak and publish, the protection of minorities, the sanctity of elections, the ability to be religious or secular—can be, and in fact usually is, partial and incomplete. Susie Linfield, The Atlantic, 14 Aug. 2023 Trump might argue, for instance, that his effort to overturn the election was made as a president attempting to ensure the sanctity of the vote. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2023 There is the slight tilt of the head, which recalls countless depictions of the Madonna, but also the wry smile that dispels any whiff of sanctity. Anna Mundow, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2023 Their invisibility not only reinforced the sanctity of the place but provided another way to invoke the Buddha’s absence-as-presence. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 14 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sanctity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sanctity

Cite this Entry

“Sanctity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


sanc·​ti·​ty ˈsaŋ(k)-tət-ē How to pronounce sanctity (audio)
plural sanctities
: the quality or state of being holy or sacred

More from Merriam-Webster on sanctity

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