an official of a church charged with taking care of the edifice and its contents, ringing the bell, etc., and sometimes with burying the dead.
an official who maintains a synagogue and its religious articles, chants the designated portion of the Torah on prescribed days, and assists the cantor in conducting services on festivals.

1275–1325; Middle English sexteyn, sekesteyn, syncopated variant of segerstane, secristeyn < Anglo-French segerstaine sacristan

sextonship, noun
undersexton, noun

sextant, sextet, sexton. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sextonship
World English Dictionary
sexton (ˈsɛkstən)
1.  a person employed to act as caretaker of a church and its contents and graveyard, and often also as bell-ringer, gravedigger, etc
2.  another name for the burying beetle
[C14: from Old French secrestein, from Medieval Latin sacristānussacristan]

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

c.1300, sekesteyn, "person in charge of the sacred objects of a church," from O.Fr. segrestien, from M.L. sacristanus (see sacristan). Sense of "custodian of a church" first recorded 1582.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature