from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Christianity A rite believed to be a means of or visible form of grace, especially:
- n. Christianity In the Eastern, Roman Catholic, and some other Western Christian churches, any of the traditional seven rites that were instituted by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament and that confer sanctifying grace.
- n. Christianity In most other Western Christian churches, the two rites, Baptism and the Eucharist, that were instituted by Jesus to confer sanctifying grace.
- n. A religious rite similar to a Christian sacrament, as in character or meaning.
- n. The Eucharist.
- n. The consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or host.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sacred act or ceremony in Christianity. In Roman Catholic theology, a sacrament is defined as "an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace."
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The oath of allegiance taken by Roman soldiers; hence, a sacred ceremony used to impress an obligation; a solemn oath-taking; an oath.
- n. The pledge or token of an oath or solemn covenant; a sacred thing; a mystery.
- n. One of the solemn religious ordinances enjoined by Christ, the head of the Christian church, to be observed by his followers; hence, specifically, the eucharist; the Lord's Supper.
- transitive v. To bind by an oath.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An oath of obedience and fidelity taken by Roman soldiers on enlistment; hence, any oath, solemn engagement, or obligation, or ceremony that binds or imposes obligation.
- n. In theology, an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace; more particularly, a solemn religious ceremony enjoined by Christ, or by the church, for the spiritual benefit of the church or of individual Christians, by which their special relation to him is created or freshly recognized, or their obligations to him are renewed and ratified.
- n. The eucharist, or Lord's Supper: used with the definite article, and without any qualifying word.
- To bind by an oath.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it; the two Protestant ceremonies are baptism and the Lord's Supper; in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church there are seven traditional rites accepted as instituted by Jesus: baptism and confirmation and Holy Eucharist and penance and holy orders and matrimony and extreme unction
Middle English, from Old French sacrement, from Late Latin sacrāmentum, from Latin, oath, from sacrāre, to consecrate, from sacer, sacr-, sacred; see sacred.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin sacrāmentum ("sacrament"), from sacrō ("hallow, consecrate"), from sacer ("sacred, holy"), originally sum deposited by parties to a suit. (Wiktionary)