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[sangk-tuh s] /ˈsæŋk təs/
(italics). Also called Tersanctus. the hymn beginning “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts,” with which the Eucharistic preface culminates.
a musical setting for this hymn.
Origin of Sanctus
< Latin sānctus holy, hallowed (past participle of sancīre to hallow), the first word of the hymn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Sanctus
Historical Examples
  • He told us he had sung the Sanctus here at the festa on the preceding Sunday.

  • The Sanctus also was originally intended as a Christmas piece.

    Bach Charles Francis Abdy Williams
  • There are many instances where the Sanctus Bell, or its remains, still exist in the tower or bell chamber.

  • At the Sanctus she rang a sheep-bell, and deepened all her Intention.

    Mariquita John Ayscough
  • Then the Patriarch yielded, and at a sign from the Emperor the choir sang the Sanctus anew.

  • At that moment the Sanctus bell rang, and she remembered why she had stayed in church.

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • This was inflicted with peculiar severity on Sanctus, already mentioned, and some others.

  • The Sanctus is a six part chorus; the voices move for the most part in flowing triplets, the bass generally in an octave figure.

    Bach Charles Francis Abdy Williams
  • The Sanctus and Hosanna were very fairly given, the Benedictus being perhaps the most telling effort of all.

  • The singing of the creed, Gloria in excelsis, and Sanctus in the Communion service anthem-wise.

British Dictionary definitions for Sanctus


(liturgy) the hymn that occurs immediately after the preface in the celebration of the Eucharist
a musical setting of this, usually incorporated into the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass
Word Origin
C14: from the first word of the hymn, Sanctus sanctus sanctus Holy, holy, holy, from Latin sancīre to consecrate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Sanctus

late 14c., Latin, initial word of the "angelic hymn" (Isa. vi:3), concluding the preface of the Eucharist, literally "holy" (see saint (n.)). It renders Hebrew qadhosh in the hymn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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