UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈsæŋktʃuəri/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈsæŋktʃuˌɛri/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(sangkcho̅o̅ er′ē)

Inflections of 'sanctuary' (nnoun: Refers to person, place, thing, quality, etc.): nplplural noun: Noun always used in plural form--for example, "jeans," "scissors.": sanctuaries

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
sanc•tu•ar•y /ˈsæŋktʃuˌɛri/USA pronunciation   n., pl.  -ar•ies. 
  1. Religion[countable] a sacred or holy place, such as a temple or church, or the holiest part within it.
  2. Religion[countable] a place that provides refuge, esp. (formerly) freedom from being arrested.
  3. the protection provided by such a place;
    asylum:[uncountable]The thief claimed that the chapel provided sanctuary.
  4. [countable] an area where wildlife live and breed in safety;
    a preserve.
See -sanct-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
sanc•tu•ar•y  (sangkcho̅o̅ er′ē),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -ar•ies. 
  1. Religiona sacred or holy place.
  2. Judaism
    • the Biblical tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem.
    • the holy of holies of these places of worship.
  3. Religion, Judaisman especially holy place in a temple or church.
  4. Religionthe part of a church around the altar;
    the chancel.
  5. Religiona church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.
  6. immunity afforded by refuge in such a place.
  7. any place of refuge;
  8. a tract of land where birds and wildlife, esp. those hunted for sport, can breed and take refuge in safety from hunters.
sanctu•ar′ied, adj. 
  • Late Latin sānctuārium, equivalent. to sānctu- (replacing Latin sānct-), combining form of sanctus (see Sanctus) + -ārium -ary
  • Middle English 1300–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged church, temple, altar, shrine, sanctum, adytum.
    • 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged preserve.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
sanctuary /ˈsæŋktjʊərɪ/ n ( pl -aries)
  1. a holy place
  2. a consecrated building or shrine
  3. the Israelite temple at Jerusalem, esp the holy of holies
  4. the tabernacle in which the Ark was enshrined during the wanderings of the Israelites
  5. the chancel, or that part of a sacred building surrounding the main altar
  6. a sacred building where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest or execution
  7. the immunity so afforded
  8. a place of refuge; asylum
  9. a place, protected by law, where animals, esp birds, can live and breed without interference
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French sainctuarie, from Late Latin sanctuārium repository for holy things, from Latin sanctus holy
'sanctuary' also found in these entries:

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