Definition of sanctity in US English:


nounPlural sanctities

  • 1The state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly.

    ‘the site of the tomb was a place of sanctity for the ancient Egyptians’
    • ‘He speaks of the history and sanctity of the order, and tells the crowd that it is the actions of a vile temptress, a witch, who brought them here.’
    • ‘He extolled the virtues of Aranda belief, and disdained the modern world that had replaced traditional sanctities.’
    • ‘A bringer of healing water, she soon found herself pursued by believers in her sanctity and tormented by officials who hounded her with police interrogations.’
    • ‘Among the very oldest sanctities are the human rites of compulsion.’
    • ‘Yet Matilda II, despite her devotion and the influence she had over the English royal court, was never seen as a candidate for sanctity.’
    • ‘The sanctity of each of these sacred places of worship is determined by the purity in one's heart and not by the suffix to one's name.’
    • ‘He says he does value marriage and its sanctity.’
    • ‘Emphasis on the sanctity of the human body can also be seen in the cult of the martyrs and saints, in which bodily remains are imbued with divine power.’
    • ‘The gurdwara authorities maintain that by providing them shelter in a legal way, the sanctity of the holy place was not being violated.’
    • ‘The sanctity of heterosexual marriages has not been destroyed.’
    • ‘The body of Simon de Montfort had endured similar treatment after Evesham in 1265, but it had served only to lend him an aura of sanctity in the minds of his erstwhile supporters.’
    • ‘The term is used within Christianity to designate a holy person, one deemed to have lived a life of such great virtue and sanctity as to achieve special closeness to God.’
    • ‘One in his lifetime almost certainly achieved the popular status of sanctity without being formally sanctified.’
    • ‘Also, the Holy Prophet has clearly presented the Qur'anic law in respect of the honour and sanctity of the religious sentiments of every community and nation.’
    • ‘‘What is going on in Najaf and the rest of the Iraqi cities is a violation of sanctities, an aggression on holy sites and shedding of innocent blood that could lead to a vicious civil war,’ he said.’
    holiness, godliness, sacredness, blessedness, saintliness, sanctitude, spirituality, piety, piousness, devoutness, devotion, righteousness, goodness, virtue, virtuousness, purity
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    1. 1.1 Ultimate importance and inviolability.
      ‘the sanctity of human life’
      • ‘The interior of this example is covered with gold leaf, emphasizing the sanctity and importance of the objects placed within.’
      • ‘The phrase ‘the sanctity of human life’ still resonates in legal and political debates, even among those who have no clear idea what it means.’
      • ‘It has been strongly opposed by many religions which emphasize the sanctity of human life from the day of conception.’
      • ‘The sanctity of human life is the closest thing our culture has to a basic value.’
      • ‘He dismisses ideas about the sanctity of human life, ‘because if anything it means the in-sanctity of species which are not human’.’
      • ‘Amongst them is the idea of the sanctity of human life.’
      • ‘Now the crime of Barry and his comrades was that they apparently showed disregard for the sanctity of human life.’
      • ‘Such things ought not to interfere with our regard for the sanctity of human life.’
      • ‘Of course the court will approach those interests with a strong predilection in favour of the preservation of life, because of the sanctity of human life.’
      • ‘I consider the sanctity of settlements to be of the utmost importance for the policy reasons more eloquently discussed elsewhere.’
      • ‘Here Keith recognised the tradition of use was more important than the sanctity of original fabric.’
      • ‘While the fundamental principle was the sanctity of human life, this principle was not absolute.’
      • ‘Instead, should we choose to actually take measures to preserve freedom and the sanctity of human life, we must look first to our own backyard.’
      • ‘Islam makes the sanctity of human life a paramount obligation, and care for the innocent, the sufferers, the bereaved, a sacred duty.’
      • ‘‘This argument goes to the heart of the debate about when life is created and the sanctity of human life,’ she said.’
      • ‘This is the era in which we now live, an era when the sanctity of human life is so much less than it was in times past.’
      • ‘But they all share the Chancellor's belief in the sanctity of work and importance of rewarding those who toil.’
      • ‘We are going to read more about the sanctity of human life and the dangers of playing God.’
      • ‘The first affirms the sanctity of the human individual as individual.’
      • ‘The sanctity of human life has been sidelined as an irrelevance in the Republic as blindly as in any paramilitary murder in the North.’
      sacrosanctity, ultimate importance, inviolability
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘saintliness’): from Old French sainctite, reinforced by Latin sanctitas, from sanctus ‘holy’.