sex·​ton | \ ˈsek-stən How to pronounce sexton (audio) \

Definition of sexton

: a church officer or employee who takes care of the church property and performs related minor duties (such as ringing the bell for services and digging graves)

Examples of sexton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With help from the church sexton, Raymond Brooks, some senior members and her adult daughter, Ashley Pryor, the efficient assembly line produced 100 meals. Glenn Graham,, 16 Aug. 2020 Daniel is drawn to a young woman, Marta (Eliza Rycembel), but scorned by her mournful mother, Lidia (Aleksandra Konieczna), who is both the housekeeper at the vicarage and the sexton at the church. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2020 Gloria Stevens, sexton at the cemetery, said there are about 47 Confederate veterans and 97 Union veterans among the 4,600 burials there. USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2020 The slain included the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the church's pastor and a state senator; a high school track coach; the church sexton; a librarian; and an aspiring poet. CBS News, 28 Jan. 2020 And then the church rector hired him as a sexton, or maintenance man. Thomas Farragher,, 24 Dec. 2019 Leumas opens the church sexton's burial records from the 1880s for St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and turns to the correct page. Andrew Boyd,, 22 May 2018 The stones were near one of two main roads in the 43-acre cemetery, said Chris Passera, foreman/sexton of municipal cemeteries. Christine Dempsey,, 12 Apr. 2018 The statue’s removal, which came just before a debate exploded over Confederate monuments across the country, is moving ahead on schedule, said Don Price, sexton of the Orlando cemetery. Harry Sayer,, 25 Aug. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sexton

Middle English secresteyn, sexteyn, from Anglo-French segrestein, from Medieval Latin sacristanus — more at sacristan

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Time Traveler for sexton

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sexton



sexton beetle

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Cite this Entry

“Sexton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for sexton



English Language Learners Definition of sexton

: a person who takes care of church buildings and property and often rings the church's bell during services


sex·​ton | \ ˈseks-tən How to pronounce sexton (audio) \

Kids Definition of sexton

: an official of a church who takes care of church buildings and property

More from Merriam-Webster on sexton

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sexton

Nglish: Translation of sexton for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sexton


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