Middle English Dictionary Entry

sacrā̆ment n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Eccl. & theol.: (a) A sacrament of the Church, a visible sign imparting grace; ~ of holi chirche, holi chirche sacramentes; lak of sacramentes, failure to receive the sacraments; sacramentes yevinge (ministringe, offringe), the administering of sacraments; (b) the seven sacramentes, the sacramentes seven, the sacraments of baptism, penance, confirmation, holy orders, the Eucharist, matrimony, and anointing of the sick (extreme unction); (c) a specific sacrament [for the sacrament of the Eucharist see sense 2.(a)]; ~ of anelinge (enointing, the laste enointed), extreme unction; ~ of bapteme, baptism; ~ of confessioun (penaunce), confession, penance; ~ of confirmacioun (strengthe), confirmation; ~ of mariage (matrimoine, spoushede, wedlok), the gret ~, matrimoine the ~, matrimony; ~ of ordre, holy orders, priesthood; (d) a sacramental, a sacrament-like act or object which produces a spiritual effect; chirche ~; (e) ~ of adopcioun, a sacrament for infants which the Pelagians proposed to substitute for that of baptism; (f) an ordinance of the Mosaic law; olde ~.
Eccl. & theol.: (a) The sacrament of the Eucharist; ~ of the auter (communing, godes flesh and blod, the weved, etc.); maken (ordeinen) ~, of Christ: to institute the sacrament of the Eucharist; also, make the sacrament valid [quot.: ?a1450]; (b) the service of the Eucharist, the Mass; the act of consecration of the eucharistic elements; the words of institution; wordes of the ~; maken (offren) ~, to celebrate the Eucharist; ful-fillen ~, say mass; (c) the eucharistic elements; the consecrated bread in the Eucharist, the Host; also, the consecrated wine of the Eucharist; ~ box, box for the ~, a pyx; cuppe..for the ~, a ciborium; receiven (taken) the ~, to partake of the element(s; (d) in phrases: ~ of the auter (cristes bodi, his flesh and his blod, eukarist, the messe), blessed (holi, preciouse) ~, the eucharistic elements, esp. the Host.
Arcane knowledge; a secret; hidden significance, a mystery; a divine mystery; ~ of pite, a mystery of religion.
A solemn oath, pledge, covenant; also, a ceremony accompanying the taking of an oath or the making of a pledge; the sacred rituals of chivalry.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500(1439) Lydg.Sts.AA (Lnsd 699)154 : Cesar…Ordeyned statutis in that region…that no maner wiht…Shold in that lond receive the ordre of knyht…And this was doon lest peraventur Sondry persones, encloied with rudeness…Shold nat presume of rural boistousnesse, Thouh that he had strenghe & hardynesse, To take vpon hym, whateuer that he bee, The sacrament of knyhtly dygnyte.
  • Note: Modify gloss