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[sangk-tuh-fahy] /ˈsæŋk təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), sanctified, sanctifying.
to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
to purify or free from sin:
Sanctify your hearts.
to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding:
to sanctify a vow.
to entitle to reverence or respect.
to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing.
Origin of sanctify
1350-1400; < Late Latin sānctificāre (see Sanctus, -ify); replacing Middle English seintefien < Old French saintifier < Latin, as above
Related forms
sanctifiable, adjective
sanctifiableness, noun
sanctifiably, adverb
sanctification, noun
sanctifier, noun
sanctifyingly, adverb
nonsanctification, noun
presanctify, verb (used with object), presanctified, presanctifying.
self-sanctification, noun
unsanctifying, adjective
1. bless, hallow, anoint, enshrine, exalt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sanctify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At its best the Jewish Law tended to sanctify every act of life and to bring the humblest obligation into relationship with God.

    A Thousand Years of Jewish History Maurice H. (Maurice Henry) Harris
  • A young girl may sometimes, by such courage, sanctify and enhance her modesty.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
  • And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.'

    The Gospel of St. John Frederick Denison Maurice
  • God sanctified the Sabbath day: man has to sanctify it, that is, to keep it holy.

    Holy in Christ Andrew Murray
  • The truth is taught us that it may make us free from sin, and sanctify both our hearts and lives to God.

  • With my whole heart do I trust Thee to do it, to sanctify me wholly.

    Holy in Christ Andrew Murray
  • Up, sanctify the people, and say, sanctify yourselves against to-morrow.

    Leaves of Life Margaret Bird Steinmetz
  • The altar was most holy, that it might sanctify the gifts laid on it.

    Holy in Christ Andrew Murray
  • We have to be true to all the motives that sanctify our lives.

British Dictionary definitions for sanctify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to make holy
to free from sin; purify
to sanction (an action or practice) as religiously binding: to sanctify a marriage
to declare or render (something) productive of or conductive to holiness, blessing, or grace
(obsolete) to authorize to be revered
Derived Forms
sanctifiable, adjective
sanctification, noun
sanctifier, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin sanctificāre, from Latin sanctus holy + facere to make
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
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Word Origin and History for sanctify

late 14c., seintefie "to consecrate," from Old French saintefier "sanctify" (12c., Modern French sanctifier), from Late Latin sanctificare "to make holy," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Form altered in English c.1400 to conform with Latin. Meaning "to render holy or legitimate by religious sanction" is from c.1400; transferred sense of "to render worthy of respect" is from c.1600. Related: Sanctified; sanctifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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