sanctum

noun

sanc·​tum ˈsaŋ(k)-təm How to pronounce sanctum (audio)
plural sanctums also sancta ˈsaŋ(k)-tə How to pronounce sanctum (audio)
1
: a sacred place
2
: a place where one is free from intrusion
an editor's sanctum
the inner sanctums of research

Examples of sanctum in a Sentence

Her office was her sanctum. the sanctum of a church
Recent Examples on the Web Stepping outside the sanctum of the dining room is like being released from a spell. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 3 Dec. 2023 Party-to-Go keeps the huge catalogue of licensed songs and even adds a story mode — a first for the series — which is perfectly tuned to the private sanctum of mobile gaming. Vulture, 2 Oct. 2023 In 1947 Rome’s superintendent of antiquities, Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, made his way into the sanctum by dressing as a janitor. Ingrid D. Rowland, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 Feminism may not be the only appropriate topic of conversation, or the answer to every question, but it must nonetheless be imported into even the most intimate sanctums. Becca Rothfeld, Washington Post, 25 May 2023 You’re inspected for purity on the way into the sanctum and instructed in a series of obscure rights and responsibilities that attend to touching this very special paper. Elise Hannum, The Atlantic, 21 Oct. 2022 The intruders ran around the back hallways of the second floor, weaving in and out of the Senate majority leader and House speaker’s adjoining suites, and entering the sanctum of the two most powerful figures in Congress like the halls were their playground. Anchorage Daily News, 10 Jan. 2021 The library itself was an unfathomable sanctum they were barred from, not by rule but by indifference. Cynthia Ozick, Harper’s Magazine , 10 Apr. 2023 Their office was a classified sanctum, a locked vault. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Late Latin, from Latin, neuter of sanctus sacred

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sanctum was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near sanctum

Cite this Entry

“Sanctum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanctum. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

sanctum

noun
sanc·​tum ˈsaŋ(k)-təm How to pronounce sanctum (audio)
plural sanctums also sancta -tə How to pronounce sanctum (audio)
1
: a sacred place
2
: a place where one is free from being bothered
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