Word of The Day for Wednesday, June 8, 2011


sac•er•dot•al (sas-uhr-DOHT-l, sak-)  adj

1. of or relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly
2. of or relating to sacerdotalism
sacerdotally adverb
c.1400; from O.Fr. sacerdotal, from L. sacerdotalis "of or pertaining to a priest," from sacerdos (gen. sacerdotis) "priest," lit. "offerer of sacrifices," from sacer "holy" + stem of dare "to give"

Synonyms: clerical, apostolic, canonical, churchly, cleric, ecclesiastic, ecclesiastical, episcopal, ministerial, monastic, papal, parsonical, parsonish, pastoral, pontifical, prelatic, priestly, rabbinical, theocratical
Related Words: sacrifice, sacrosanct, sacrilege, sacred; data, date, edition, mandate, tradition

Sentence Examples:
• I have frequently spoken of the Mexican priests, and the time has now come for dwelling more explicitly on this priesthood. It was very numerous, and had a strong organization reared on an aristocratic basis, into which political calculations manifestly entered. The noblest families (including that of the monarch) had the exclusive privilege of occupying the highest sacerdotal offices. - Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by the Native Religions of Mexico and Peru, Albert Réville

• While, however, the ordinary priest chose for himself a single master to whom he devoted himself, the priest-king exercised universal sacerdotal functions and claimed to be pontiff of all the national religions. - History of Egypt, G Maspero

• The inscriptions possess a certainty and precision that is frequently absent in the phrases of the writers. They enable one to draw important conclusions as to the dates of propagation and disappearance of the various religions, their extent, the quality and social rank of their votaries, the sacred hierarchy and sacerdotal personnel, the constitution of the religious communities, the offerings made to the gods, and the ceremonies performed in their honor; in short, conclusions as to the secular and profane history of these religions, and in a certain measure their ritual. - The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, Franz Cumont


Sacerdotalism is the idea that a propitiatory sacrifice for sin must be offered by the intervention of an order of men separated to the priesthood. This system of the priesthood is taught in the Old Testament. The term sacerdotalism comes from the Latin sacerdos, priest, literally one who presents sacred offerings, sacer, sacred, and dare, to give.
Sources: Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

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