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

  • n. Ecclesiastical The sanctuary or sacristy of a church.
  • n. Ecclesiastical Piscina.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A place where sacred objects were kept, either in a temple (the adytum) or in a house (holding the penates)
  • n. The area surrounding the altar of a Christian church; the sanctuary or piscina. Sometimes specifically a drain directly to the earth, perhaps including reference to a basin, for washing vessels from consecration.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sort of family chapel in the houses of the Romans, devoted to a special divinity.
  • n. The adytum of a temple.
  • n. In a Christian church, the sanctuary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Roman antiquity: Any sacred or consecrated retired place; any place where sacred objects were deposited, as that connected with the Capitoline temple where were kept the processional chariots; sometimes, a locality where a statue of an emperor was placed.
  • n. A sort of family chapel in private houses, in which the images of the Penates were kept.
  • n. That part of a church where the altar is situated; the sanctuary; the chancel.
  • n. In ornithology, the complex sacrum of any bird, consisting of dorsolumbar or lumbosacral and of urosacral vertebræ, as well as of sacrals proper.


Medieval Latin sacrārium, from Latin, shrine, from sacer, sacr-, sacred; see sacred.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin sacrārium. (Wiktionary)



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