[ san-buh-nee-toh ]

noun,plural san·be·ni·tos.(under the Spanish Inquisition)
  1. an ornamented garment worn by a condemned heretic at an auto-da-fé.

  2. a penitential garment worn by a confessed heretic, of yellow for the penitent, of black for the impenitent.

Origin of sanbenito

1550–60; <Spanish, named after San Benito Saint Benedict, from its resemblance to the scapular believed to have been introduced by him

Words Nearby sanbenito

Other definitions for San Benito (2 of 2)

San Benito
[ san buh-nee-toh ]

  1. a city in S Texas. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sanbenito in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sanbenito


/ (ˌsænbəˈniːtəʊ) /

nounplural -tos
  1. a yellow garment bearing a red cross, worn by penitent heretics in the Inquisition

  2. a black garment bearing flames and devils, worn by impenitent heretics at an auto-da-fé

Origin of sanbenito

C16: from Spanish San Benito Saint Benedict, an ironical allusion to its likeness to the Benedictine scapular

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