Also called sacrist [sak-rist, sey-krist] . an official in charge of the sacred vessels, vestments, etc., of a church or a religious house.
a sexton.

1325–75; Middle English < Medieval Latin sacristānus, equivalent to sacrist(a) custodian of sacred objects + -ānus -an

undersacristan, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sacristan
World English Dictionary
sacristan or sacrist (ˈsækrɪstən, ˈsækrɪst, ˈseɪ-)
1.  a person who has charge of the contents of a church, esp the sacred vessels, vestments, etc
2.  a less common word for sexton
[C14: from Medieval Latin sacristānus, from sacrista, from Latin sacer holy]
sacrist or sacrist
[C14: from Medieval Latin sacristānus, from sacrista, from Latin sacer holy]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., from M.L. sacristanus, from L. sacrista, from sacer (gen. sacri) "sacred" (see sacred). Cf. sexton, which is a doublet.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


a sexton (q.v.) or, more commonly, the officer of the church in charge of the sacristy and its contents, such as the sacred vessels and vestments. The person may be either someone in holy orders, as is common in a cathedral, or a lay person

Learn more about sacristan with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature