Etymology
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sanctimonious (adj.)

c. 1600 (in "Measure for Measure," with the disparaging sense "making a show of sanctity, affecting an appearance of holiness"), from sanctimony + -ous. The un-ironic, literal sense is about as old in English and was used occasionally from c. 1600 to c. 1800. Related: Sanctimoniously; sanctimoniousness.

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sanctimony (n.)

1530s, "piety, devoutness, sanctity," a sense now obsolete, from French sanctimonie, from Latin sanctimonia "sacredness, holiness, virtuousness," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)). The surviving sense of "external appearance of devoutness, hypocritical or affected piety" is by 1610s.

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sanction (v.)

1778, "confirm by sanction, make valid or binding;" by 1797 as "to permit authoritatively," also in a general sense, "give countenance or support to, approve;" from sanction (n.). Seemingly contradictory meaning "impose a penalty on" is from 1956 but is rooted in an old legalistic sense of the noun. Related: Sanctioned; sanctioning.

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sanction (n.)

1560s, "a law or decree," from Latin sanctionem (nominative sanctio) "act of decreeing or ordaining," also "a decree, an ordinance, a law," noun of action from past-participle stem of sancire "to decree, confirm, ratify, make sacred" (see saint (n.)).

Originally especially of ecclesiastical decrees. The extended sense of "express authoritative permission" is by 1720, hence the looser sense of "the conferring of authority upon (an opinion, practice or sentiment); confirmation of support derived from public approval" (1738). Moral sanction, in Bentham's philosophy, is "the knowledge of how one's neighbors will take a given act, as a motive for doing or not doing it" [Century Dictionary].

As "a penalty enacted according to a provision in a law to enforce obedience to it" from 1630s; in later 17c. also "a provision of a law which enforces obedience through rewards or penalties." Hence the modern sense of "economic or quasi-military action by a state against another," usually to enforce terms of a law or treaty that has been violated (1919).

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sanctions (n.)

in international diplomacy, by 1900, plural of sanction (n.) in the sense of "part or clause of a law which spells out the penalty for breaking it" (1650s).

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sanctitude (n.)

"holiness, sacredness," mid-15c. in Scottish English, from Latin sanctitudinem (nominative sanctitudo) "sacredness," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)).

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sanctity (n.)

late 14c., saunctite, "holiness, godliness, blessedness," from Old French sanctete, saintete, sainctete (Modern French sainteté), from Latin sanctitatem (nominative sanctitas) "holiness, sacredness," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)). The meaning "sacred or hallowed character" (of marriage, the home, life, etc.) is by c. 1600, hence, in reference to those things, "inviolability."

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sanctuary (n.)

early 14c., seintuarie, sentwary, etc., "consecrated place, building set apart for holy worship; holy or sacred object," from Anglo-French sentuarie, Old French saintuaire "sacred relic, holy thing; reliquary, sanctuary," from Late Latin sanctuarium "a sacred place, shrine" (especially the Hebrew Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem; see sanctum), also "a private room;" in Medieval Latin also "a church, cemetery; right of asylum," from Latin sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)). 

Since the time of Constantine and by medieval Church law, fugitives or debtors enjoyed immunity from arrest and ordinary operations of the law in certain churches, hence its use by mid-14. of churches or other holy places with a view to their inviolability. The transferred sense of "immunity from punishment by virtue of having taken refuge in a church or similar building" is by early 15c., also of the right to such. (Exceptions were made in England in cases of treason and sacrilege.)

The general (non-ecclesiastical) sense of "place of refuge or protection" is attested from 1560s; as "land set aside for wild plants or animals to breed and live" it is recorded by 1879 in reference to the American bison.

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sanctum (n.)

1570s, "holy place of the Jewish tabernacle," from Latin sanctum "a holy place," as in Late Latin sanctum sanctorum "holy of holies" (translating Greek to hagion ton hagiou, translating Hebrew qodesh haqqodashim), from neuter of sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)). In English, sanctum sanctorum attested from c. 1400; in the sense of "a person's private room or retreat" it is attested by 1706.

I had no need to make any change ; I should not be called upon to quit my sanctum of the school-room — for a sanctum it was now become to me —a very pleasant refuge in time of trouble. ["Jane Eyre"]
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Sanctus (n.)

late 14c., Latin, initial word of the "angelic hymn" (Isaiah vi.3) concluding the preface of the Eucharist and during which a bell is rung, literally "holy" (see saint (n.)). It renders Hebrew qadhosh in the hymn of adoration.

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