From Middle English sanctuary, from Old French saintuaire, from Late Latin sanctuarium (“a sacred place, a shrine, a private cabinet, in Medieval Latin also temple, church, churchyard, cemetery, right of asylum”), from Latin sanctus (“holy, sacred”); see saint.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈsæŋktjʊəɹi/, /ˈsæŋkt͡ʃʊəɹi/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈsæŋkt͡ʃuˌɛɹi/
- Hyphenation: sanc‧tu‧ary
sanctuary (plural sanctuaries)
- A place of safety, refuge, or protection.
- My car is a sanctuary, where none can disturb me except for people who cut me off.
- An area set aside for protection.
- The bird sanctuary has strict restrictions on visitors so the birds aren't disturbed.
- A state of being protected, asylum.
- The government granted sanctuary to the defector, protecting him from his former government.
- The consecrated (or sacred) area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.