Middle English Dictionary Entry

seintuārī̆(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

A holy or sacred place; a place dedicated to God; also, the dwelling place of God, heaven; also fig.; the ~ of god.
In Jewish history: (a) the tabernacle, or tent, built in the wilderness after the Exodus; also, the outer chamber of the tabernacle, the holy place; ~ of seintuarie(s, seintuaries of ~, the inner chamber of the tabernacle, the most holy place; at the mesure (peis, weght) of the ~, after the peis (weght) of the ~, according to the weight and value set as a standard at the tabernacle; (b) the Temple in Jerusalem; also fig.; one of the inner courts, or enclosures, in the Temple; ~ observaunce, prescribed rites of the Temple; talent of ~, a weight as determined at the Temple; (c) pl. illicit holy places in or around Jerusalem.
In Christian uses: (a) the church in general; the entire community of Christians; also, fig. the order of priests [quots.: c1390, a1425]; (b) a building for Christian worship, a church; -- often with its inviolate nature implied; also, a shrine of a saint [quot.: ?a1449]; also, coll. churches in England, shrines in Rome [quots.: 1448 and ?c1450]; also fig. [quot.: ?c1435]; (c) ?the area around the altar, sanctuary.
A pagan temple; the inner or most sacred part of such a temple; also, fig. the order of priests [quot.: TB 4.5856].
(a) A church or other building in which, by law or custom, a fugitive from justice could take refuge and be immune from arrest [some quots. may belong in 3.(b)]; ~ man, a person who has taken refuge in such a building; (b) immunity from arrest by virtue of having taken refuge in a church or other building; the right to such immunity; also, refuge, protection; taken (taken the) ~; yeven their cors to ~, to surrender.
(a) A churchyard; a burial ground, cemetery [cp. cimiterie n.]; ~ garth; (b) land owned by or under the jurisdiction of a church, a church precinct.
A holy or sacred object; also, an object thought to have healing properties; also, a relic of a saint; -- usu. coll. or pl.