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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Sanctuary


SANC'TUARY, noun [Latin sanctuarium, from sanctus, sacred.]

1. A sacred place; particularly among the Israelites, the most retired part of the temple at Jerusalem, called the Holy of Holies, in which was kept the ark of the covenant, and into which no person was permitted to enter except the high priest, and that only once a year to intercede for the people. The same name was given to the most sacred part of the tabernacle. Leviticus 4:6.

Hebrews 9:1.

2. The temple at Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 20:8.

3. A house consecrated to the worship of God; a place where divine service is performed. Psalms 73:17.

Hence sanctuary is used for a church.

4. In catholic churches, that part of a church where the altar is placed, encompassed with a balustrade.

5. A place of protection; a sacred asylum. Hence a sanctuary-man is one that resorts to a sanctuary for protection.

6. Shelter; protection.

Some relics of painting took sanctuary under ground.