An employee or officer of a church who is responsible for the care and upkeep of church property and sometimes for ringing bells and digging graves.
[Middle English sextein, from Anglo-Latin sextānus, probably from Medieval Latin secristānus, sacristan, variant of sacristānus; see SACRISTAN.]
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:
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