Definition of sexton in English:

sexton

noun

  • A person who looks after a church and churchyard, typically acting as bell-ringer and gravedigger.

    • ‘As Reverend Dimmesdale leaves his pulpit, the sexton meets him, holding out one of Dimmesdale's black gloves, which was found on the scaffold that morning.’
    • ‘Godparents would bring gifts for the child, and, in the past, for the mother and the church sexton, who would ring the church bells to mark the occasion.’
    • ‘I had just begun to draw a whole line of monkeys sitting on another wall, when the church sexton rode up on a motorcycle and introduced himself.’
    • ‘I went round to the vestry and was delighted to see the sexton.’
    • ‘Marriage, however, could be tough: a parson visiting Ellerburn encountered the clerk and the sexton watching a husband and wife fight.’
    • ‘Whereas the sexton's son, Heidegger, had decided that the life of philosophy was incompatible with the dogmatic system of the Church, Stein was led by phenomenological study to God.’
    • ‘Although many of Doyle's paintings depict the comical and amusing characters of his environment, it should be noted that Doyle was an intensely religious person who attended church regularly and served as the sexton of his church.’
    • ‘A presentation was made to John Correll, Aghade, to honour the long service of the Correll Family as sextons of All Saints Church, Aghade.’
    • ‘There are also humble sextons like Heidegger's father; heroes come in all shapes and sizes.’
    • ‘Those were the days of six o'clock closing when the screech of the huge iron cemetery gates could be heard regularly at 6.15 p.m. as they were slammed shut by the sexton on his way home from the pub.’
    • ‘After his enforced retirement from the army, Gillray's father became a sexton for the Moravians, a fundamentalist Christian sect of Bohemian origin.’
    • ‘Paul Revere tells Johnny to tell Robert Newman, the sexton at Christ's Church, to hang two lanterns.’
    • ‘In short, what with undertakers, embalmers, joiners, sextons and your damned elegy hawkers, I got not one wink of sleep.’
    • ‘Joe Bleddon, the church sexton, pulled his kitchen door open and stepped outside to see what the weather was doing.’
    • ‘The sexton had the task of digging the grave in the churchyard.’
    • ‘Their family was a respected one, the most notable member being their maternal grandfather, Morten Klemetsen, who was a third generation teacher and served also as the sexton in the local church until 1905.’
    • ‘The silence was often broken by the sexton coming to check the heating, or just popping in for a gossip, always accompanied by Lassie - the result of a moment's acrobatic limbo-passion between a local sheepdog and a Jack Russell.’
    • ‘The Scottish Tories have been very diligent sextons in the graveyard of their political hopes.’
    • ‘The city appointed a sexton to oversee burials and set rates at six dollars for a coffin and hearse and four dollars to dig the grave.’
    • ‘There, Algot, the hunchback sexton, tells Tomas before the service something that has been troubling him about the Gospels: Christ's physical agony could not have been as bad as his own.’

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French segrestein, from medieval Latin sacristanus (see sacristan).

Pronunciation

sexton

/ˈsɛkst(ə)n/