from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hymn of praise sung or spoken at the end of the Preface in many Eucharistic liturgies, including the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass.
  • noun A musical setting for this hymn.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In liturgics, the ascription “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, …” in which the eucharistic preface culminates, and which leads up to the canon or prayer of consecration.
  • noun A musical setting of the above ascription or hymn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Eccl.) A part of the Mass, or, in Protestant churches, a part of the communion service, of which the first words in Latin are Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus [Holy, holy, holy]; -- called also Tersanctus.
  • noun (Mus.) An anthem composed for these words.
  • noun a small bell usually suspended in a bell cot at the apex of the nave roof, over the chancel arch, in mediæval churches, but a hand bell is now often used; -- so called because rung at the singing of the sanctus, at the conclusion of the ordinary of the Mass, and again at the elevation of the host. Called also Mass bell, sacring bell, saints' bell, sance-bell, sancte bell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun A hymn from Christian liturgy, loosely related to the Trisagion.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Late Latin Sānctus, from Latin sānctus, holy (from the first word of the hymn); see sanctify.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin sanctus



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