Definition of sacrament in English:



  • 1(in the Christian Church) a religious ceremony or ritual regarded as imparting divine grace, such as baptism, the Eucharist and (in the Roman Catholic and many Orthodox Churches) penance and the anointing of the sick.

    • ‘It was within the community of the parish that ordinary people received Christian teaching and the sacraments of the church; baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial.’
    • ‘The Missions of San Gabriel, San Juan Capistrano, and San Luis Rey have built chapels in their hospitals, in order to administer the sacraments there to the sick more conveniently.’
    • ‘The pope, who personally administers each of the church's seven sacraments during the course of each year, makes a practice of consecrating bishops on Epiphany.’
    • ‘Despite all of this scene-setting, none of the plots place Ryan or Clancy's other Catholic characters anywhere near the sacraments or a church.’
    • ‘The seven sacraments - including the sacrament of Holy Orders - are the normative way in which Jesus gives us his life.’
    • ‘Clearly, he saw more here than ‘grace’ or the sacrament of baptism.’
    • ‘Bishop John Fleming will administer the sacrament of Confirmation in Rathlee Church on Saturday next to seventeen students from Rathlee National School.’
    • ‘The institution of the sacrament of Penance (or ‘confession’) is found in John 20:19-23.’
    • ‘The relation between the body of Christ which is the holy Eucharist and the body of Christ which is his Church passes through the sacrament of holy orders.’
    • ‘The Council reaffirmed the sanctity of the seven sacraments, transubstantiation, purgatory, and papal authority.’
    • ‘A young woman was accepted as being in a stage of preparation for receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.’
    • ‘They observe seven sacraments: the Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick.’
    • ‘So do we simply accept the reduction of seven sacraments to six?’
    • ‘He combined a Catholic devotion to the sacraments of the Church with a Pentecostal welcoming of healings, ecstasies and Low Church spontaneity.’
    • ‘I oppose this because of my Christian beliefs in the sacrament of marriage, if we permit this then we take on our heads the responsibility for ultimate collapse of our society.’
    • ‘The Pope has been given ‘last rites’ (or rather, the sacrament of anointing the sick).’
    • ‘God grant them the grace of the sacrament of Holy Orders to do the former and shun the latter course.’
    • ‘Out of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic church the Anglican church retained only two: baptism and the Lord's Supper.’
    • ‘He is still a priest although his right to officiate at Church sacraments was revoked by the Bishop of San Bernardino in 1994.’
    • ‘Thus baptism became one of the seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic church.’
    rite, ritual, ceremony, observance, service, usage, institution, practice
    View synonyms
  • 2(in Roman Catholic use) the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or Host.

    ‘he heard Mass and received the sacrament’
    • ‘Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the Sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.’
    • ‘History offers numerous examples of pious Roman Catholic women who claim to exist on the wine and bread of the Holy Sacrament alone.’
    • ‘I spent many hours before the Blessed Sacrament seeking God's help.’
    • ‘It is hoped that as many people as possible will visit the Church on the Tuesday of every week and spend some time in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament during these hours.’
    • ‘Then a strange quiet descends after the Gregorian chant ‘Tantum Ergo’ as the Blessed Sacrament is laid at the altar of repose.’
    • ‘And he would show how the Mass itself could not exist without the contribution of those who worked in wineries and bakeries to make the elements employed in the sacrament.’
    • ‘Fr. Michael Harrison led with the rosary and the Blessed Sacrament was carried by Fr. John Loftus.’
    • ‘What do you believe about the Holy Sacrament?’
    • ‘At the end of the anniversary Mass, there was a procession with the sacrament to an altar of repose.’
    • ‘We know him: in our prayer, in the bread and wine of the sacrament, in every gracious word, in smiles of generous welcome and in every moment of joy or beauty that leaves us more whole and human.’
    • ‘The Holy Ghost has made you so holy that you don't need penance or the sacrament?’
    • ‘Instead a Sacramental Test Act was introduced in 1704, which required every person holding civil or military office under the crown to qualify by taking the sacrament in their parish church.’
    • ‘It's viewed somewhat differently in today's Catholicism, and Lutherans and Catholics now agree on ‘the real presence’ of Christ in the sacrament.’
    • ‘Fourteen young boys and girls received the Holy Sacrament for the first time.’
    • ‘The king walked immediately behind the Holy Sacrament, carried by the archbishop of Paris, while the chief royal chaplain held His Majesty's Candle.’
  • 3A thing of mysterious and sacred significance; a religious symbol.

    ‘they used peyote as a sacrament’
    • ‘Sikhs consider the Guru's langar as sacred and its food a sacrament.’
    • ‘With these words, we affirm the sacrament of creating sacred space.’
    • ‘The fact that he could be both at once is a basic sacrament in the Christian faith and a theme of Scorsese's film.’
    • ‘Created reality is a sacrament, ‘a revelation of the presence of God.’’
    • ‘In South America the sacred use of the psychedelic ayahuasca has moved from the native populations of the Amazon Basin into the urban centers where it is the central sacrament in their religious praxis.’
    • ‘Hindu sacraments are solemnized before the homa fire.’
    • ‘The whole of creation is a book of symbols or, as some prefer to say, is a sacrament of God.’
    • ‘So they spent a million pounds a year to establish the diamond engagement ring as a sacrament - a spiritual thing.’
    • ‘As sacrament of the word of God, Scripture is more than the words on the page.’
    • ‘Ayahuasca, typically brewed as a tea, is used as a sacrament in Native American religious ceremonies.’


Middle English: from Old French sacrement, from Latin sacramentum ‘solemn oath’ (from sacrare ‘to hallow’, from sacer ‘sacred’), used in Christian Latin as a translation of Greek mustērion ‘mystery’.