- Sanctify is to make something holy, give something legitimacy or to set something apart through religious ceremony.
When a priest blesses a marriage and gives it validity in the eyes of a church, this is an example of a time when the priest sanctifies the marriage.
transitive verbsanctified, sanctifying
- to make holy; specif.,
- to set apart as holy; consecrate
- to make free from sin; purify
- to make binding or inviolable by a religious sanction
- to make productive of spiritual blessing
- to make seem morally right or binding: a practice sanctified by custom
Origin of sanctifyMiddle English sanctifien, altered (infl. by L) ; from Old French saintifier ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin sanctificare: see saint and amp; -fy
transitive verbsanc·ti·fied, sanc·ti·fy·ing, sanc·ti·fies
- To set apart for sacred use; consecrate: The preacher sanctified the ground as a cemetery.
- To make holy; purify: They felt the spirit had descended and sanctified their hearts. They sanctified the body with holy oil.
- To give religious sanction to, as with an oath or vow: The wedding ceremony sanctifies the marriage.
- To give social or moral sanction to: “The only books I wanted to read as a teenager were those sanctified by my elders and betters” (David Eggers).
Origin of sanctifyMiddle English seintefien, sanctifien, from Old French saintifier, from Late Latin sānctificāre : Latin sānctus, holy, from past participle of sancīre, to consecrate; see sak- in Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.
(third-person singular simple present sanctifies, present participle sanctifying, simple past and past participle sanctified)