tran·​sub·​stan·​ti·​a·​tion | \ ˌtran(t)-səb-ˌstan(t)-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce transubstantiation (audio) \

Definition of transubstantiation

1 : the miraculous change by which according to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox dogma the eucharistic elements at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while keeping only the appearances of bread and wine
2 : an act or instance of transubstantiating or being transubstantiated

Examples of transubstantiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The processions on Corpus Christi commemorate the biblical transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Washington Post, 20 June 2019 Belief in transubstantiation has both scriptural and patristic bases. John Hirschauer, National Review, 10 June 2019 Lori’s visit coincided with the church’s observance of the Feast of Corpus Christi, a celebration of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in communion. Sarah Meehan, Howard County Times, 2 June 2018 Holy vestments serve in the transubstantiation of wine and bread into blood and body, and in a similar way these secular garments also turn the Met’s medieval collection back into objects of worship. Jason Farago, New York Times, 9 May 2018 Dissident movements had already challenged the papacy and the priesthood, transubstantiation, indulgences, relics, and icons. Marilynne Robinson, New Republic, 12 Dec. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Cite this Entry

“Transubstantiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of transubstantiation

: the belief in some Christian religions that the bread and wine given at Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ when they are blessed

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