What is saint?

  • (noun): Person of exceptional holiness.
    Synonyms: holy man, holy person, angel
    See also — Additional definitions below


A saint is one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue. While the English term "saint" originated in Christianity, the term is now used by historians of religion "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people," with the Jewish Tzadik, the Islamic wali, the Hindu rishi or guru, and the Buddhist arahat or boddhisatva also referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either through official church recognition or by popular acclaim (see Folk saints).

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More definitions of "saint":

  • (verb): In the Catholic church; declare (a dead person) to be a saint.
    Synonyms: canonize, canonise
  • (noun): A person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization.
  • (verb): Hold sacred.
    Synonyms: enshrine

Famous quotes containing the word saint:

    A designer who is not also a couturier, who hasn’t learned the most refined mysteries of physically creating his models, is like a sculptor who gives his drawings to another man, an artisan, to accomplish. For him the truncated process of creating will always be an interrupted act of love, and his style will bear the shame of it, the impoverishment.
    —Yves Saint Laurent (b. 1936)

    This Light inspires, and plays upon
    The nose of Saint like Bag-pipe drone,
    And speaks through hollow empty Soul,
    As through a Trunk, or whisp’ring hole,
    Such language as no mortal Ear
    But spiritual Eve-droppers can hear.
    Samuel Butler (1612–1680)

    The saint and poet seek privacy to ends the most public and universal: and it is the secret of culture, to interest the man more in his public, than in his private quality.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)