Definition of sanctum in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsaŋ(k)təm/

noun (plural sanctums)

1A sacred place, especially a shrine within a temple or church: an icon installed within the sanctum of the temple
More example sentences
  • The result is that many Smarta priests are entering the temple sanctums.
  • Harmful energy lines include water arteries, underground movements and ore and coal repositories, while ‘power zones’ occur predominately around old churches and pagan sanctums.
  • Its easier to work with technology these days than it is to find obscure herbs and ingredients, to get proper working tools for the old pagan religions, or to construct proper sanctums for ritual use.
2A private place from which most people are excluded: he ushered her into his sanctum and gave her something to drink
More example sentences
  • Practically the entire spadework for the organization had already been done within the sanctums of the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • The invitation had one condition: no conversation within the sanctum was to be directly reported.
  • Swallowing, she determined the noise had come from the deeper sanctums of the library.


Late 16th century: from Latin, neuter of sanctus 'holy', from sancire 'consecrate'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sanc|tum

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.