Definition of saint in English:


Pronunciation /seɪnt/ /s(ə)nt/


  • 1A person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and regarded in Christian faith as being in heaven after death.

    ‘a place dedicated to a seventh-century saint’
    ‘figures of apostles and saints’
    • ‘The paintings are scenes from the gospels, the apostles, the saints, images of heaven and hell and seven choirs of angels.’
    • ‘Icons - images representing Christ, angels, saints, and other holy figures - hold an important place in Orthodox practice.’
    • ‘We celebrate the lives of past martyrs and saints from the Christian faith.’
    • ‘He is beloved of the Father, beloved of the angels, beloved of the saints in heaven.’
    • ‘When the saints in heaven act, it is God who acts through them.’
    • ‘In other words, once we are in heaven with all the saints, all temptations and all desires for sin will be done away with.’
    • ‘Most religious painting of the time depicted the Holy family or the saints in a contrived, idealised way, full of piety and grace.’
    • ‘It is in the Bible that we get to know the hearts of saints, apostles and Savior.’
    • ‘It is the very fact of death that allows us to know that God loves us, as we are taken from this imperfect world into the perfection of heaven where the saints and angels gather.’
    • ‘Native Americans and Fijians firewalked and a number of Christian saints were said to have firewalked for their faith.’
    • ‘The interior reliefs were plastered and painted with Christian saints and angels.’
    • ‘At that time, Orthodox Christians venerated icons, seeing them as vehicles for spiritual communication with saints and other holy figures.’
    • ‘I thank God for the many blessings I have already received from his generous love, and look forward to the day when I can glorify him with you and all the saints in heaven.’
    • ‘In case you're not familiar with them, reliquaries were more commonly used in the Middle Ages to house bones and other relics of saints and holy people.’
    • ‘The Iconoclasts believed that the display of images of God or other Holy persons or saints was blasphemous idol worshipping.’
    • ‘It's creative, loving orthodoxy as it has been taught and modeled by the saints and by our Holy Pope, John Paul, in the image and spirit of Jesus Christ.’
    • ‘Ceremonies to promote farming and livestock became associated with holidays and the cult of the saints in the Christian calendar.’
    • ‘Parents are advised to show them examples of good character and conduct in the Bible and the lives of Christian saints.’
    • ‘The Cross, the Trinity, and the saints are important Christian symbols.’
    • ‘Still, it must be remembered that the truly ecumenical councils of the first millennium produced great and charismatic saints to guide the church.’
    1. 1.1A person of exalted virtue who is canonized by the Church after death and who may be the object of veneration and prayers for intercession.
      ‘Innocent III stressed that only the Pope had the authority to declare a saint’
      • ‘Eventually, because of her contributions, she was canonized as a saint by the church.’
      • ‘One of the first Chinese ever to be declared saints by the Catholic Church, Anna was not celebrated in her homeland.’
      • ‘For canonization, she would need one more miracle, and then at that point she would be declared a saint by the church.’
      • ‘Irene is remembered in the Eastern Orthodox Church as a saint because she restored the use of icons in religious worship.’
      • ‘Soon after his death he was declared a Saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church.’
    2. 1.2Used in titles of religious saints.
      ‘the epistles of Saint Paul’
      ‘St Mary's Church’
      • ‘The Naomh Donnach boat was called after Saint Dennis a much-honoured Saint in the Clogherhead area.’
      • ‘In addition, they honor Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, on November 30, and the Scottish poet Robert Burns on Burns Night, January 25.’
    3. 1.3A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; a Mormon.
      ‘Smith began to cast around for uninhabited territories where the Saints might build their Kingdom’
    4. 1.4(in biblical use) a Christian believer.
      ‘the poor saints which are at Jerusalem’
      • ‘So all believers are saints in the sense that they have been set aside by God for his own use.’
  • 2informal A very virtuous, kind, or patient person.

    ‘she's a saint to go on living with that man’
    • ‘She's a real saint for having put up with me for all these years.’
    • ‘It's only because she's a real saint such as you seldom come across that she's treating you so kindly.’


[with object]
  • 1Formally recognize as a saint; canonize.

    ‘the sandy shores of the River Nid, where Holy Olaf's bones were laid to rest before he had been sainted’
    • ‘In the previous government, there were many ministers who were members of the Opus Dei, which is a very fundamentalist Catholic sect that was created by a Spanish priest who was recently sainted by the Pope.’
    • ‘There are people who think she should be sainted in the Catholic Church.’
    • ‘King Olaf, who was later sainted, more or less imposed Christianity on his people by force.’
    • ‘This week I want to know how many of you believe the Pope should be sainted…’
    • ‘Wenceslas was buried elsewhere initially, moved to St. Vitus’ at a later date, and sainted.’
    1. 1.1as adjective saintedWorthy of being a saint; very virtuous.
      ‘the story of his sainted sister Eileen’
      • ‘The second Sunday after Easter is now dedicated to the Divine Mercy - a new feast day instituted by John Paul himself based on the visions of his sainted compatriot, Faustina Kowalska.’
      • ‘Villeneuve is a fine driver when he is in the mood, perhaps as good as anyone in Formula One bar the sainted Schumacher, but he is a difficult man to motivate at the best of times and his mood is foul for the moment.’
      • ‘Few today realize the intense devotion to Christ in the early church and in our sainted martyrs.’
      • ‘Hungary's historic Constitution, dating back to the sainted King Stephen I early in the 11 th century, affirmed the ownership of all land by the Holy Crown, i.e., the nation as a whole.’
      • ‘It had been inspired by his wife Matilda II, whom he had married in 1100, the daughter of the sainted Queen Margaret of Scotland.’
      holy, godly, pious, God-fearing, religious, devout, spiritual, prayerful, blessed


Middle English, from Old French seint, from Latin sanctus ‘holy’, past participle of sancire ‘consecrate’.



/seɪnt/ /s(ə)nt/