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sanctum

[sangk-tuh m]
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noun, plural sanc·tums, sanc·ta [sangk-tuh] /ˈsæŋk tə/.
  1. a sacred or holy place.
  2. an inviolably private place or retreat.

Origin of sanctum

1570–80; noun use of neuter of Latin sānctus; see Sanctus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sancta

Historical Examples

  • Oh, sancta not simplicitas, but —— Oh, clear-sighted Republican!

    Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862

    Adam Gurowski

  • I asked her to say an Ave and a Sancta est Maria mater gratiae.

    Princes and Poisoners

    Frantz Funck-Brentano

  • She became abbess of the nuns of Sancta Clara, and castigated her body.

  • With Francis all virtues were holy (sancta obedientia, sancta paupertas).

  • His first demand will be to celebrate mass in Sancta Sophia.


British Dictionary definitions for sancta

sanctum

noun plural -tums or -ta (-tə)
  1. a sacred or holy place
  2. a room or place of total privacy or inviolability

Word Origin

C16: from Latin, from sanctus holy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sancta

sanctum

n.

1570s, "holy place of the Jewish tabernacle," from Latin sanctum "a holy place," as in Late Latin sanctum sanctorum "holy of holies" (translating Greek to hagion ton hagion, translating Hebrew qodesh haqqodashim), from neuter of sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)). In English, sanctum sanctorum attested from c.1400; in sense of "a person's private retreat" from 1706.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper