A saint is a person who is very holy — or just very good. If you gave all your money away to charity, some people might consider you a saint.

Saint can refer to a person who is officially recognized as holy within a particular faith or religion. However, any person who is considered deeply religious or especially generous could be called a saint. You might say that someone is a saint if they go to religious services every day, or if they spend a lot of time volunteering at a school or at a hospital.

Definitions of saint

n a person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization

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Saint Ambrose
(Roman Catholic Church) Roman priest who became bishop of Milan; the first Church Father born and raised in the Christian faith; composer of hymns; imposed orthodoxy on the early Christian church and built up its secular power; a saint and Doctor of the Church (340?-397)
Saint Andrew the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; brother of Peter; patron saint of Scotland
Saint Anselm
an Italian who was a Benedictine monk; was archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109; one of the founders of scholasticism; best known for his proof of the existence of God
Saint Thomas Aquinas
(Roman Catholic Church) Italian theologian and Doctor of the Church who is remembered for his attempt to reconcile faith and reason in a comprehensive theology; presented philosophical proofs of the existence of God (1225-1274)
Athanasius the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) Greek patriarch of Alexandria who championed Christian orthodoxy against Arianism; a church father, saint, and Doctor of the Church (293-373)
Augustine of Hippo
(Roman Catholic Church) one of the great Fathers of the early Christian church; after a dramatic conversion to Christianity he became bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa; St. Augustine emphasized man's need for grace (354-430)
St. Basil the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) the bishop of Caesarea who defended the Roman Catholic Church against the heresies of the 4th century; a saint and Doctor of the Church (329-379)
Saint Thomas a Becket
(Roman Catholic Church) archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170; murdered following his opposition to Henry II's attempts to control the clergy (1118-1170)
the Venerable Bede
(Roman Catholic Church) English monk and scholar (672-735)
Saint Benedict
Italian monk who founded the Benedictine order about 540 (480-547)
Apostle of Germany
(Roman Catholic Church) Anglo-Saxon missionary who was sent to Frisia and Germany to spread the Christian faith; was martyred in Frisia (680-754)
Saint Bridget
Irish abbess; a patron saint of Ireland (453-523)
Saint Bruno
(Roman Catholic Church) a French cleric (born in Germany) who founded the Carthusian order in 1084 (1032-1101)
Domingo de Guzman
(Roman Catholic Church) Spanish priest who founded an order whose members became known as Dominicans or Black Friars (circa 1170-1221)
Saint Edward the Confessor
son of Ethelred the Unready; King of England from 1042 to 1066; he founded Westminster Abbey where he was eventually buried (1003-1066)
Saint Edward the Martyr
King of England who was a son of Edgar; he was challenged for the throne by supporters of his half-brother Ethelred II who eventually murdered him (963-978)
Saint Francis of Assisi
(Roman Catholic Church) an Italian and the Roman Catholic monk who founded the Franciscan order of friars (1181-1226)
Gregory the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) an Italian pope distinguished for his spiritual and temporal leadership; a saint and Doctor of the Church (540?-604)
St. Gregory of Nazianzen
(Roman Catholic Church) a church father known for his constant fight against perceived heresies; a saint and Doctor of the Church (329-391)
Saint Ignatius
bishop of Antioch who was martyred under the Roman Emperor Trajan (died 110)
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Spaniard and Roman Catholic theologian and founder of the Society of Jesus; a leading opponent of the Reformation (1491-1556)
Saint Irenaeus
Greek theologian who was bishop of Lyons and an antiheretical writer; a saint and Doctor of the Church (circa 130-200)
Saint James the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; brother of John; author of the Epistle of James in the New Testament
Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus
(Roman Catholic Church) one of the great Fathers of the early Christian Church whose major work was his translation of the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin (which became the Vulgate); a saint and Doctor of the Church (347-420)
Saint John the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; traditionally said to be the author of the 4th Gospel and three epistles and the book of Revelation
St. John Chrysostom
(Roman Catholic Church) a Church Father who was a great preacher and bishop of Constantinople; a saint and Doctor of the Church (347-407)
St. John the Baptist
(New Testament) a preacher and hermit and forerunner of Jesus (whom he baptized); was beheaded by Herod at the request of Salome
Saint Jude
(New Testament) supposed brother of St. James; one of the Apostles who is invoked in prayer when a situation seems hopeless
Saint Lawrence
Roman martyr; supposedly Lawrence was ordered by the police to give up the church's treasure and when he responded by presenting the poor people of Rome he was roasted to death on a gridiron (died in 258)
Leo the Great
Italian pope from 440 to 461 who extended the authority of the papacy to the west and persuaded Attila not to attack Rome (440-461)
Saint Louis
king of France and son of Louis VIII; he led two unsuccessful Crusades; considered an ideal medieval king (1214-1270)
Saint Luke
(New Testament) the Apostle closely associated with St. Paul and traditionally assumed to be the author of the third Gospel
Saint Mark
Apostle and companion of Saint Peter; assumed to be the author of the second Gospel
St. Martin
French bishop who is a patron saint of France (died in 397)
St. Mary Magdalene
sinful woman Jesus healed of evil spirits; she became a follower of Jesus
Saint Matthew the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; traditionally considered to be the author of the first Gospel
Saint Nicholas
a bishop in Asia Minor who is associated with Santa Claus (4th century)
Saint Olaf
King and patron saint of Norway (995-1030)
Apostle of the Gentiles
(New Testament) a Christian missionary to the Gentiles; author of several Epistles in the New Testament; even though Paul was not present at the Last Supper he is considered an Apostle
Saint Peter the Apostle
disciple of Jesus and leader of the Apostles; regarded by Catholics as the vicar of Christ on earth and first Pope
Simon the Canaanite
one of the twelve Apostles (first century)
Saint Teresa of Avila
Spanish mystic and religious reformer; author of religious classics and a Christian saint (1515-1582)
Thomas the doubting Apostle
the Apostle who would not believe the resurrection of Jesus until he saw Jesus with his own eyes
St. Vitus
Christian martyr and patron of those who suffer from epilepsy and Sydenham's chorea (died around 300)
Father Christmas
the legendary patron saint of children; an imaginary being who is thought to bring presents to children at Christmas
Saint Christopher
Christian martyr and patron saint of travellers (3rd century)
Saint Crispin
patron saint of shoemakers; he and his brother were martyred for trying to spread Christianity (3rd century)
Saint David
patron saint of Wales (circa 520-600)
Saint George
Christian martyr; patron saint of England; hero of the legend of Saint George and the Dragon in which he slew a dragon and saved a princess (?-303)
Saint Patrick
Apostle and patron saint of Ireland; an English missionary to Ireland in the 5th century
patron saint
a saint who is considered to be a defender of some group or nation
Type of:
deity, divinity, god, immortal
any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force

n person of exceptional holiness

angel, holy man, holy person
one who has achieved a state of perfect enlightenment
fakeer, fakir, faqir, faquir
a Muslim or Hindu mendicant monk who is regarded as a holy man
an ascetic Muslim monk; a member of an order noted for devotional exercises involving bodily movements
Type of:
good person
a person who is good to other people

n model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal

apotheosis, ideal, nonesuch, nonpareil, nonsuch, paragon
crackerjack, jimdandy, jimhickey
someone excellent of their kind
class act
someone who shows impressive and stylish excellence
someone of remarkable excellence
Type of:
model, role model
someone worthy of imitation

v declare (a dead person) to be a saint

canonise, canonize
Type of:
adjudge, declare, hold
declare to be

v hold sacred

Type of:
fear, revere, reverence, venerate
regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of

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