Ecclesiastical. a visible sign of an inward grace, especially one of the solemn Christian rites considered to have been instituted by Jesus Christ to symbolize or confer grace: the sacraments of the Protestant churches are baptism and the Lord's Supper; the sacraments of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, matrimony, penance, holy orders, and extreme unction.
(often initial capital letter) Also called Holy Sacrament. the Eucharist or Lord's Supper.
the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread.
something regarded as possessing a sacred character or mysterious significance.
a sign, token, or symbol.
an oath; solemn pledge.
Origin of sacrament
1150–1200; Middle English
< Medieval Latin sacrāmentum
obligation, oath, Late Latin:
mystery, rite, equivalent to Latin sacrā(re
) to devote + -mentum -ment
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for sacrament
an outward sign combined with a prescribed form of words and regarded as conferring some specific grace upon those who receive it. The Protestant sacraments are baptism and the Lord's Supper. In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Churches they are baptism, penance, confirmation, the Eucharist, holy orders, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick (formerly extreme unction)
(often capital) the Eucharist
the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, esp the bread
something regarded as possessing a sacred or mysterious significance
a symbol; pledge
Word Origin for sacrament
C12: from Church Latin sacrāmentum vow, from Latin sacrāre to consecrate
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 sacramentn.
"outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace," also "the eucharist," c.1200, from Old French sacrament "consecration; mystery" (12c., Modern French sacrement) and directly from Latin sacramentum "a consecrating" (also source of Spanish sacramento, German Sakrament, etc.), from sacrare "to consecrate" (see sacred); a Church Latin loan-translation of Greek mysterion (see mystery).
Meaning "a holy mystery" in English is from late 14c. The seven sacraments are baptism, penance, confirmation, holy orders, the Eucharist, matrimony, and anointing of the sick (extreme unction).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Culture definitions for sacrament
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.