• synonyms

sanctum sanctorum

[sangk-tawr-uh m, -tohr-]
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  1. the holy of holies of the Biblical tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem.
  2. sanctum(def 2).

Origin of sanctum sanctorum

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin sānctum sānctōrum, translation of Hebrew qōdhesh haqqodhāshīm holy of holies
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sanctum sanctorum

Historical Examples

  • The grand parlor was the sanctum-sanctorum where the passion for cleaning was indulged without control.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8

    Charles H. Sylvester

British Dictionary definitions for sanctum sanctorum

sanctum sanctorum

  1. Bible another term for the holy of holies
  2. often facetious an especially private place

Word Origin

C14: from Latin, literally: holy of holies, rendering Hebrew qōdesh haqqodāshīm
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

sanctum sanctorum in Culture

sanctum sanctorum

[(sangk-tuhm sangk-tawr-uhm)]

Latin for “holy of holies.” The place in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem) where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. By extension, a sacred and private place.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.