[ seynt ]
See synonyms for: saintsaintedsaintingsaints on

  1. any of certain persons of exceptional holiness of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, especially by canonization.

  2. a person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence.

  1. a founder, sponsor, or patron, as of a movement or organization.

  2. (in certain religious groups) a designation applied by the members to themselves.

verb (used with object)
  1. to enroll formally among the saints recognized by the Church.

  2. to give the name of saint to; reckon as a saint.

Origin of saint

before 1000; Middle English (noun and v.) <Old French (noun) <Latin sānctus sacred, adj. use of past participle of sancīre to consecrate, equivalent to sanc- (akin to sacersacred) + -tus past participle suffix; replacing Old English sanct<Latin, as above

Other words from saint

  • saintless, adjective
  • outsaint, verb (used with object)
  • su·per·saint, noun

Words Nearby saint Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use saint in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for saint


/ (seɪnt, unstressed sənt) /

  1. a person who after death is formally recognized by a Christian Church, esp the Roman Catholic Church, as having attained, through holy deeds or behaviour, a specially exalted place in heaven and the right to veneration

  2. a person of exceptional holiness or goodness

  1. (plural) Bible the collective body of those who are righteous in God's sight

  1. (tr) to canonize; recognize formally as a saint

Origin of saint

C12: from Old French, from Latin sanctus holy, from sancīre to hallow

Derived forms of saint

  • saintdom, noun
  • saintless, adjective
  • saintlike, adjective

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

Cultural definitions for saint


In Christianity, a holy person, living or dead; a person who has been saved (see salvation) (see also salvation). Saint is the French word for “holy.” Many churches reserve the title of saint for persons who have died faithful to their Christian commitment. The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church require certain procedures before people can be officially named saints; this procedure is called canonization.

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.