Definition of sanctify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsaŋ(k)tɪfʌɪ/

verb (sanctifies, sanctifying, sanctified)

[with object]
1Set apart as or declare holy; consecrate: a small shrine was built to sanctify the site
More example sentences
  • They sanctified the Holy Days and consecrated the marriage vows.
  • As the promising young Christian leader in his rural South African village, James is dispatched on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, an experience intended to sanctify his succession as the next pastor.
  • Yet cattle, the possession sacrificed by male elders to sanctify rituals of ukuzila, were dying off.
consecrate, make holy, make sacred, bless, hallow, set apart, dedicate to God, anoint, ordain, canonize, beatify
1.1Make legitimate or binding by a religious ceremony: their love is sanctified by the sacrament of marriage
More example sentences
  • Last Monday at 11 a.m., 9 monks led religious ceremonies to sanctify the occasion and create solidarity among the 1,500 plus local government employees.
  • Starting at 9 a.m. on Friday May 11, nine monks performed a religious ceremony to sanctify the new branch office.
  • Building a family through a marriage sanctified by a religious ceremony is considered one of the most sacred aspects of life.
approve, sanction, give the stamp of approval to, underwrite, condone, justify, vindicate, endorse, support, back, ratify, confirm, warrant, permit, allow, accredit, authorize, legitimize, legitimatize
1.2Free from sin; purify: may God sanctify his soul
More example sentences
  • The church will sanctify your body and soul on Sundays.
  • And while this play deals, like all his work, with the conflict between the poetic soul and materialism, I feel Williams sanctifies the dead Sebastian.
  • That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.
purify, cleanse, free from sin, absolve, unburden, redeem, exculpate, wash someone's sins away
rare lustrate
1.3Cause to be or seem morally right or acceptable: ancient customs that are sanctified by tradition
More example sentences
  • Those terms were settled, and indeed sanctified, in the long struggle down the centuries to the founding and then to the preservation, the protection and the defence of our liberal representative democracy.
  • By model and practice, families nested children in webs of relationships, sanctified through kin or kin-like (idiomatic kin) moralities.
  • At home, womanhood was idealized and sanctified, while women themselves were denied such basic rights of citizenship as the vote.



Pronunciation: /saŋ(k)tɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • It is a day of sanctification and holiness, and pre-empts all other holy days, and it is a memorial of the creation of the world and of the exodus from Egypt, as well as a memorial to the pact between God and the Hebrews, the covenant.
  • It is well known that the great Pope Gregory deliberately charged his missionaries to graft the new on to the old by purifying pagan rites and the sanctification of existing customs.
  • Arrogating universality to itself, the authoritarian state which arose over these exclusive particulars thwarted the self-activity of its people, and concealed the source of its authority behind a veil of religious sanctification.


Pronunciation: /ˈsaŋ(k)tɪfʌɪə/
Example sentences
  • The creed does state the basic Christian convictions concerning the Triune God as creator, savior, and sanctifier, and the basic Christian story from Creation, through Incarnation, to the world to come.
  • The Spirit is a washer, a justifier, a sanctifier.
  • There is no sense in this passage, however, that either spouse replaces Christ as savior / sanctifier; the implication seems rather that he or she will serve as a witness to Christ.


Late Middle English: from Old French saintifier (influenced later by sanctifier), from ecclesiastical Latin sanctificare, from Latin sanctus 'holy'.

  • saint from Middle English:

    Saint comes via Old French, from Latin sanctus ‘holy’. The word has been used in the names of many diseases such as St Vitus' dance (early 17th century) with the supposition that the associated saint would ward off the illness. Also based on sanctus are sanctify (Late Middle English), sanctity (Late Middle English), sanctimonious (early 17th century) originally meaning ‘holy in character’, and sanctuary (Middle English) originally a holy place where you were safe from attack or arrest. A sanction (Late Middle English) was originally an ecclesiastical decree and comes from Latin sancere which meant both ‘to make holy’ and ‘to decree’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sanc|tify

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