[sak-ri-stuh n]
  1. Also called sac·rist [sak-rist, sey-krist] /ˈsæk rɪst, ˈseɪ krɪst/. an official in charge of the sacred vessels, vestments, etc., of a church or a religious house.
  2. a sexton.

Origin of sacristan

1325–75; Middle English < Medieval Latin sacristānus, equivalent to sacrist(a) custodian of sacred objects + -ānus -an
Related formsun·der·sac·ris·tan, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sacrist

Historical Examples of sacrist

  • The sacrist leaned forward with the face of one who bears tidings of woe.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • It is that gray lean wolf of a sacrist who hungers for our land.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There was often a sub-sacrist to assist the sacrist in his duties.

  • He was assisted by the Sacrist as his deputy, and under the Sacrist, by three vergers.

    Medival London

    William Benham

  • On the sides are the initials of Ralph Whitechurch, sacrist of the Abbey.

British Dictionary definitions for sacrist


sacrist (ˈsækrɪst, ˈseɪ-)

  1. a person who has charge of the contents of a church, esp the sacred vessels, vestments, etc
  2. a less common word for sexton (def. 1)

Word Origin for sacristan

C14: from Medieval Latin sacristānus, from sacrista, from Latin sacer 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 sacrist



"officer charged with looking after the buildings and property of a church or religious house," early 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Medieval Latin sacristanus, from Latin sacrista, from sacer (genitive sacri) "sacred" (see sacred). Cf. sexton, which is a doublet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper