sanctum

noun
sanc·​tum | \ ˈsaŋ(k)-təm How to pronounce sanctum (audio) \
plural sanctums also sancta\ ˈsaŋ(k)-​tə How to pronounce sancta (audio) \

Definition of sanctum

1 : a sacred place
2 : a place where one is free from intrusion an editor's sanctum the inner sanctums of research

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for sanctum

Synonyms

sanctuary, shrine

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sanctum in a Sentence

Her office was her sanctum. the sanctum of a church

Recent Examples on the Web

The Hall of Fame acknowledges—on a plaque in its inner sanctum—that the Doubleday myth is untrue. The Economist, "Baseball and exceptionalism," 8 June 2019 He is not allowed back in the inner sanctum of her heart. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale," 6 June 2019 This is the inner sanctum where the foundational code that determines how the device works lives. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Jailbreaking: The FAQ," 14 Jan. 2019 An April meeting of the Politburo, the inner sanctum of power, offered an initial sign of the shift in government priorities toward growth. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "China’s Effort to Control Debt Loses Steam," 12 July 2018 Winnowing to the inner sanctum becomes even more pronounced after that: Europe filled 23 of 32 semifinal spots and South America eight, with South Korea in 2002 at home becoming the only outsider to reach the final four. Ronald Blum, chicagotribune.com, "European and South American teams dominate World Cup Round of 16," 28 June 2018 The scene was North Wilkesboro Speedway, a racing sanctum in North Carolina's foothills whose roots traced to NASCAR's first season in 1949. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "How an ex-moonshiner and a city slicker introduced NASCAR to America," 25 May 2018 As his guests marveled at the space, Trump would press them, asking if Obama had ever shown them the West Wing’s inner sanctum. Philip Rucker, Washington Post, "Trump’s ‘tougher on Russia’ claim fits a pattern of striving to one-up Obama," 20 Feb. 2018 The Oval Office, once the inner sanctum for only the high and mighty of any administration, under this president has become the main set for his image-making. Andrew Malcolm, SFChronicle.com, "Is Donald Trump chief executive or executive producer?," 28 June 2018

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

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanctum

Late Latin, from Latin, neuter of sanctus sacred

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sanctum

Statistics for sanctum

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sanctum

The first known use of sanctum was in 1577

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sanctum

sanctum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sanctum

somewhat formal
: a place where you are not bothered by other people
: a holy or sacred place

More from Merriam-Webster on sanctum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sanctum

Comments on sanctum

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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