from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A church official who looks after a church and its graveyard and may act as a gravedigger and bell-ringer.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An under officer of a church, whose business is to take care of the church building and the vessels, vestments, etc., belonging to the church, to attend on the officiating clergyman, and to perform other duties pertaining to the church, such as to dig graves, ring the bell, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An under-officer of a church, whose duty it is to act as janitor, and who has charge of the edifice, utensils, furniture, etc.
- n. In entomology, a sexton-beetle; a burying-beetle; any member of the genus Necrophorus. See also cut under Necrophorus.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an officer of the church who is in charge of sacred objects
- n. United States poet (1928-1974)
Middle English sextein, from Anglo-Latin sextānus, probably from Medieval Latin secristānus, sacristan, variant of sacristānus; see sacristan.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin sacristanus, based on Latin sacer ("sacred"). (Wiktionary)