- an ornamented garment worn by a condemned heretic at an auto-da-fé.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sanbenito
I would rather have put on a sanbenito myself than have gone there.The Spanish Brothers
He had received 150,000 maraveds by selling to penitents exemptions from wearing the sanbenito, or penitential garment.A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 1
Henry Charles Lea
This saco bendito became known as the sanbenito or, more commonly, abito and was necessarily inherited by the new Inquisition.
Two years and a half were spent on the trials of Diego and Ana, ending with a sentence of irremissible prison and sanbenito.
He continued his apostolate and, on a second trial, he was condemned to perpetual prison and sanbenito.
- a yellow garment bearing a red cross, worn by penitent heretics in the Inquisition
- a black garment bearing flames and devils, worn by impenitent heretics at an auto-da-fé
C16: from Spanish San Benito Saint Benedict, an ironical allusion to its likeness to the Benedictine scapular