• WordNet 3.6
    • n sanctuary area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir; often enclosed by a lattice or railing
    • n sanctuary a shelter from danger or hardship
    • n sanctuary a consecrated place where sacred objects are kept
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Many koalas are killed in sanctuaries by cars of visitors. 2. A newborn koala finds its way to the mother's pouch by following a trail of saliva.
    • n Sanctuary (Arch) A sacred place; a consecrated spot; a holy and inviolable site. "These laws, whoever made them, bestowed on temples the privilege of sanctuary.""The admirable works of painting were made fuel for the fire; but some relics of it took sanctuary under ground, and escaped the common destiny."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Would you believe that pigs are smarter than dogs? On the human intelligence scale, pigs are third removed from humans, while dogs are 13th removed, and only primates and dolphines are smarter than pigs. They are quick one time learners, and some learn by watching others. (I dont know how much of this is true, coming from a site called Pig's Peace Sanctuary
    • n sanctuary A sacred or consecrated place; a holy spot; a place in which sacred things are kept.
    • n sanctuary Specifically— In Scripture, the temple at Jerusalem, particularly the most retired part of it, called the holy of holies, in which was kept the ark of the covenant, and into which no person was permitted to enter except the high priest, and that only once a year to intercede for the people. The same name was given to the corresponding part of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex. xxv. 8).
    • n sanctuary A house consecrated to the worship of God; a church.
    • n sanctuary The cella or most sacred part of an Egyptian, Greek, or Roman temple.
    • n sanctuary In classical antiquity, a sacred place, a locality, whether inclosed or not, but generally inclosed, consecrated to some divinity or group of divinities, often a grove, sometimes an inclosure of notable size and importance, containing shrines, temples, a theater, arrangements for gymnastic contests, places of shelter for suppliants or for the sick, etc.: as, the sanctuary of Æsculapius at Epidaurus.
    • n sanctuary The part of a church where the chief altar stands; the chancel; the presbytery. See cut under reredos.
    • n sanctuary A portable shrine containing relics.
    • n sanctuary A churchyard.
    • n sanctuary A place of refuge or protection; a sacred asylum; specifically, a church or other sacred place to which is attached the privilege of affording protection from arrest and the ordinary operation of the law to criminals, debtors, etc., taking refuge within its precincts. From the time of Constantine downward certain churches have been set apart in many Catholic countries to be an asylum for fugitives from the hands of justice. In England, particularly down to the Reformation, any person who had taken refuge in such a sanctuary was secured against punishment—except when charged with treason or sacrilege—if within the space of forty days he gave signs of repentance, and subjected himself to banishment. By the act 21 James I., c. xxviii., the privilege of sanctuary for crime was finally abolished. Various sanctuaries for debtors, however, continued to exist in and about London till 1697, when they too were abolished. In Scotland the abbey of Holyrood House and its precincts still retain the privilege of giving sanctuary to debtors, and one who retires thither is protected for twenty-four hours; but to enjoy protection longer the person must enter his name in the books kept by the bailie of the abbey. Since the abolition of imprisonment for debt this sanctuary is no longer used.
    • n sanctuary Refuge; shelter; protection; specifically, the immunity from the ordinary operations of law afforded by the sacred character of a place, or by a specially privileged church, abbey, etc.
    • sanctuary To place in safety as in a sanctuary; bestow safely.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Sanctuary a sacred place: a place for the worship of God: the most sacred part of the Temple of Jerusalem: the Temple itself: the part of a church round the altar: an inviolable asylum, refuge, a consecrated place which gives protection to a criminal taking refuge there: the privilege of taking refuge in such a consecrated place
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  • Augusta Jane Evans
    Augusta Jane Evans
    “Oh! Duty is an icy shadow. It will freeze you. It cannot fill the heart's sanctuary.”
  • Julie Burchill
    “Fame is no sanctuary from the passing of youth... suicide is much easier and more acceptable in Hollywood than growing old gracefully.”
  • Edward Everett
    Edward Everett
    “There is no sanctuary of virtue like home.”
  • Eli Cass
    Eli Cass
    “The cross is the invincible sanctuary of the humble.”
  • Zacharia
    “Silence is the sanctuary of the prudent, it conceals not only secrets but also imperfections.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. seintuarie, OF. saintuaire, F. sanctuaire, fr. L. sanctuarium, from sanctus, sacred, holy. See Saint
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. sanctificāre, -ātumsanctus, sacred, facĕre, to make.


In literature:

Then, again, the sanctuary has the same {34} suggestiveness as the place of Communion.
"The Worship of the Church" by Jacob A. Regester
Ordering Josephus to stay without, he walked up the little aisle, and sat down in one of the rush-seated chairs near the sanctuary.
"Antony Gray,--Gardener" by Leslie Moore
His reverence for the sanctuary had aided his habitual self-government in this ordeal.
"Her Mother's Secret" by Emma D. E. N. Southworth
If this be so, why not fly to her sanctuary and trust to her great power?
"Saronia" by Richard Short
She will be the foremost nearer to the Sanctuary than all the rest.
"Woman on Her Own, False Gods & The Red Robe" by Eugène Brieux
You have not seen the inner sanctuary yet; it is delightfully like a state-room.
"The Orchard of Tears" by Sax Rohmer
This was the Sanctuary to which certain classes of wrong-doers could flee for safety and escape the arm of the law.
"Little Folks (November 1884)" by Various
How good it is to think he is going to the sanctuary.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
The school is strictly a court of the Temple, a porch outside the Sanctuary.
"Public School Education" by Michael Müller
Its sanctuaries, in which the sun-god, Samas, was chiefly adored, always maintained a great importance.
"A History of Art in Chaldæa & Assyria, v. 1" by Georges Perrot

In poetry:

On the knees of the Blessed Mary
And in the fold of her arm,
Refuge and sanctuary
Where he shall take no harm.
"A Woman Commends Her Little Son" by Katharine Tynan
When Christians meet to praise and pray,
May feet that never trod
The sanctuary learn the way
Unto the house of God.
"Watch Hill" by Hattie Howard
To th' little flock, as cases vary,
The great Jehovah shews
Himself a little sanctuary,
Thy Husband gives thee views.
"The Believer's Jointure : Chapter II." by Ralph Erskine
In sleep my soul sought sanctuary,
But, to the place of healing,
Fear followed all the way,
And when I knelt to pray,
Lo ! Fear beside me kneeling.
"A Song Of Fear" by Ethel Clifford
Behold then Little Puddleton, the end of all my dreams.
Not much to show for life, I know; yet O how sweet it seems!
For when defeated day goes down in carnage in the West,
How blesses sanctuary is, and peace and love and rest!
"Little Puddleton" by Robert W Service
His life was in the Sanctuary and like a fountain sealed;
He to the Master's eyes alone its height and depth revealed;
Of that which every motion spoke he seldom told in word,
But on his face was written up the secret of the Lord.
"Brevi Tempore Magnum Perfecit Opus" by Digby Mackworth Dolben

In news:

Reddit Builds An Idea Sanctuary.
There was a lot going on in New Vision Ministry Center's sanctuary.
One cool thing about living on Oahu: There's a big, metropolitan area in the heart of Honolulu, but you can easily escape all of that in about 40 minutes and hide in a mountain sanctuary.
Keithville sanctuary prepares for wave of retiring research chimps.
The main sanctuary of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.
30am on the beach at the Sanctuary Beach path (just west of the Sanctuary Hotel) and the race begins promptly at 8:30am.
A Newcastle sanctuary provides a chance for abused and abandoned primates.
Hidden in woods among the hilly, green farmland of southern Berks County is a place that hundreds of people think of as a sanctuary.
St John's is updating its sanctuary, but not its old-country traditional flavor.
Sanctuary offers a perfect atmosphere for those looking to have a little fun without any strings attached.
So they had some place to hold services while the overhaul was happening in the sanctuary.
What effect did the renovation have on the acoustics in the sanctuary.
World's first shark sanctuary set to open in Palau .
In a statement today, Governor Rick Perry applauded the passage of one of his legislative emergency items – HB 12, otherwise known as the "sanctuary cities" bill.
The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held in the church's sanctuary at 111 N Chestnut St.

In science:

The Great Temple of Amen-Ra, at Karnak, Egypt, was designed so that the last rays of the sun on the day of the summer solstice illuminate the inner sanctuary.
The sun's position in the sky