- an official of a church charged with taking care of the edifice and its contents, ringing the bell, etc., and sometimes with burying the dead.
- an official who maintains a synagogue and its religious articles, chants the designated portion of the Torah on prescribed days, and assists the cantor in conducting services on festivals.
Origin of sexton
- Anne (Harvey),1928–74, U.S. poet.
Examples from the Web for sexton
Last September, Sexton pleaded guilty in New York state court to money laundering and agreed to forfeit $600,000.Las Vegas Betting Scandal Earns $5.5 Million Fine but the Boss Walks
John L. Smith
January 21, 2014
Scarcely was it safe, when the sexton buried the old man and his secret with him.Other Tales and Sketches
The sexton started up, in a state of the most amazed consternation.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
Is he in need of the small salary your church must give its sexton?
The sexton and his man had lowered the coffin to its last home, and then stepped aside.A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
The sexton and the policeman carried the coffin to the church-door, which the curate opened.The Manxman
- a person employed to act as caretaker of a church and its contents and graveyard, and often also as bell-ringer, gravedigger, etc
- another name for the burying beetle
Word Origin and History for sexton
c.1300, sekesteyn, "person in charge of the sacred objects of a church," from Old French segrestien, from Medieval Latin sacristanus (see sacristan). Sense of "custodian of a church" first recorded 1580s. Fem. forms sextress, sextrice are recorded 15c., but the usual form is sextoness (early 15c.).