tr.v. sanc·ti·fied, sanc·ti·fy·ing, sanc·ti·fies
1. To set apart for sacred use; consecrate: The preacher sanctified the ground as a cemetery.
2. To make holy; purify: They felt the spirit had descended and sanctified their hearts. They sanctified the body with holy oil.
3. To give religious sanction to, as with an oath or vow: The wedding ceremony sanctifies the marriage.
4. 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).
[Middle English seintefien, sanctifien, from Old French saintifier, from Late Latin sānctificāre : Latin sānctus, holy, from past participle of sancīre, to consecrate; see sak- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.]
sanc′ti·fi·cation (-fĭ-kāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.