from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The sanctum in an ancient temple.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The innermost sanctuary or shrine in ancient temples, whence oracles were given.
- n. A private chamber; a sanctum.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The innermost sanctuary or shrine in ancient temples, whence oracles were given. Hence: A private chamber; a sanctum.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ancient worship, a sacred place which the worshipers might not enter, or which might be entered only by those who had performed certain rites, or only by males or by females, or only on certain appointed days, etc.; also, a secret sanctuary or shrine open only to the priests, or whence oracles were delivered; hence, in general, the most sacred or reserved part of any place of worship.
- n. Figuratively, the innermost or least accessible part of anything; that which is screened from common view; hidden recess; occult sense.
Latin, from Greek aduton, from adutos, not to be entered : a-, not; see a-1 + duein, to enter.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)