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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Christianity A person officially recognized, especially by canonization, as being entitled to public veneration and capable of interceding for people on earth.
  • n. A person who has died and gone to heaven.
  • n. A member of any of various religious groups, especially a Latter-Day Saint.
  • n. An extremely virtuous person.
  • transitive v. To name, recognize, or venerate as a saint; canonize.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person to whom a church or another religious group has officially attributed the title of "saint".
  • n. A person with positive qualities.
  • n. One who is sanctified or made holy; a person who is separated unto God’s service.
  • v. To canonize, to formally recognize someone as a saint.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person sanctified; a holy or godly person; one eminent for piety and virtue; any true Christian, as being redeemed and consecrated to God.
  • n. One of the blessed in heaven.
  • n. One canonized by the church.
  • transitive v. To make a saint of; to enroll among the saints by an offical act, as of the pope; to canonize; to give the title or reputation of a saint to (some one).
  • intransitive v. To act or live as a saint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Holy; sacred: only in attributive use, and now only before proper names, as Saint John, Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, or quasi-proper names, as Saint Saviour, Saint Sophia (Holy Wisdom), Saint Cross, Saint Sepulcher (in names of churches), where it is usually regarded as a noun appositive, a quasi-title. See II., 3.
  • n. One who has been consecrated or set a part to the service of God: applied in the Old Testament to the Israelites as a people (Ps. cxxxii. 9; compare Num. xvi. 3), and in the New Testament to all members of the Christian churches (2 Cor. i. 1).
  • n. One who is pure and upright in heart and life; hence, in Scriptural and Christian usage, one who has been regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit of God; one of the redeemed: applied to them both in their earthly and in their heavenly state; also used of persons of other religions: as, a Buddhist saint.
  • n. One who is eminent for consecration, holiness, and piety in life and character; specifically, one who is generally or officially recognized as an example of holiness of life, and to whose name it is customary to prefix Saint (abbreviated St. or S.) as a title.
  • n. An angel.
  • n. One of the blessed dead: distinguished from the angels, who are superhuman beings.
  • n. An image of a saint.
  • n. A North American shrub, Ascyrum Crux Andreæ.
  • n. Erysipelas.
  • n. A Bordeaux wine, especially red, of medium quality.
  • n. A red wine grown near Poitiers.
  • n. The ergot of rye (Claviceps purpurea). See ergot for figure and description.
  • n. A red wine produced in the neighborhood of the Rhone, not often exported.
  • n. Tinea.
  • n. Measles of the hog. See Trichina, trichinosis.
  • n. Insanity.
  • n. The garfish, Belone belone or B. vulgaris.
  • n. In later books, the European Hypericum quadrangulum.
  • n. Perhaps transferred from the last, the American genns Ascyrum, especially A. stans.
  • n. The snowberry, Symphoricarpos.
  • n. A white wine produced in the department of Gironde, in the neighborhood of St. Emilion.
  • To number or enroll among saints officially; canonize.
  • To salute as a saint.
  • To act piously or with a show of piety; play the saint: sometimes with an indefinite it.
  • n. An old game: same as cent, 4.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. hold sacred
  • n. a person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization
  • v. declare (a dead person) to be a saint
  • n. model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal
  • n. person of exceptional holiness


Middle English seint, from Old French saint, from Late Latin sānctus, from Latin, holy, past participle of sancīre, to consecrate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English saint, from Old French saint (Modern French saint), from Latin sanctus ("holy, consecrated, in Late Latin as a noun a saint"), past participle of sancire ("to render sacred, make holy"), akin to sacer ("holy, sacred"). (Wiktionary)



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  • I like the structure of the WordNet definition. The first step to sainthood is plainly dying.

    October 2, 2008