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

Example Sentences

the sanctity of the elderly nun shone through in her every word and gesture
Recent Examples on the Web How to deal with the onslaught, while meticulously protecting the sanctity of democracy? cleveland, 7 Nov. 2022 Freedom of expression lifts us into the realm of sanctity that sets us apart from all other living beings. Trish Joy Duggan, Rolling Stone, 15 Dec. 2022 By deciding not to play, the Ohio State receiver is hurting his draft stock, his college teammates and the sanctity of college football, according to pundits both professional and self-appointed. cleveland, 8 Dec. 2022 The memory of the Holodomor both soured generational attitudes of Ukrainians toward the Soviet system and shaped cultural ideas of the sanctity of food. Oleksandra Gaidai, CNN, 6 Dec. 2022 The sanctity of free and fair elections — the bedrock this country rests upon — was often lumped together with other issues as just another wedge dividing partisans of red and blue America. Columnist Follow, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2022 There was still, in the English-speaking world, one island of sanctity, one place where church and state were still so entwined that government could be relied on to enforce religious dogmas as civil and criminal law. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, 3 Aug. 2022 It’s not because their owners are interested in the sanctity of vacant land and preserving California’s hills and beaches by leaving them untouched. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 26 Nov. 2022 Surely people proselytizing about the sanctity of life will turn their attention to protecting children beyond the womb who need safe, permanent housing. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 27 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sanctity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 7 Feb. 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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