- 1[countable] an area where wild birds or animals are protected and encouraged to breed synonym reserve a bird/wildlife sanctuary
- 2 [uncountable] safety and protection, especially for people who are being chased or attacked to take sanctuary in a place The government offered sanctuary to 4,000 refugees. She longed for the sanctuary of her own home. a place of sanctuary
- 3[countable, usually singular] a safe place, especially one where people who are being chased or attacked can stay and be protected The church became a sanctuary for the refugees.
- 4[countable] a holy building or the part of it that is considered the most holy the sanctuary of Poseidon at Sourvion Women were forbidden to enter the sanctuary.