• synonyms


[sangk-tuh s]
  1. (italics) Also called Tersanctus. the hymn beginning “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts,” with which the Eucharistic preface culminates.
  2. a musical setting for this hymn.
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Origin of Sanctus

< Latin sānctus holy, hallowed (past participle of sancīre to hallow), the first word of the hymn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sanctus

Historical Examples

  • The Sanctus also was originally intended as a Christmas piece.


    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

  • At the Sanctus she rang a sheep-bell, and deepened all her Intention.


    John Ayscough

  • He told us he had sung the Sanctus here at the festa on the preceding Sunday.

  • That of Upwell has an elaborate turret for the Sanctus bell.

  • At that moment the Sanctus bell rang, and she remembered why she had stayed in church.

    Evelyn Innes

    George Moore

British Dictionary definitions for sanctus


  1. liturgy the hymn that occurs immediately after the preface in the celebration of the Eucharist
  2. a musical setting of this, usually incorporated into the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass
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Word Origin

C14: from the first word of the hymn, Sanctus sanctus sanctus Holy, holy, holy, from Latin sancīre 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 sanctus



late 14c., Latin, initial word of the "angelic hymn" (Isa. vi:3), concluding the preface of the Eucharist, literally "holy" (see saint (n.)). It renders Hebrew qadhosh in the hymn.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper