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n. pl. san·be·ni·tos
A garment of sackcloth worn at an auto-da-fé of the Spanish Inquisition by condemned heretics, being yellow with red crosses for the penitent and black with painted flames and devils for the impenitent.

[Spanish sambenito, after San Benito, Saint Benedict of Nursia (from its similarity to the scapular supposedly introduced by him).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -tos
1. (Clothing & Fashion) a yellow garment bearing a red cross, worn by penitent heretics in the Inquisition
2. (Clothing & Fashion) a black garment bearing flames and devils, worn by impenitent heretics at an auto-da-fé
[C16: from Spanish San Benito Saint Benedict, an ironical allusion to its likeness to the Benedictine scapular]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌsæn bəˈni toʊ)

n., pl. -tos. (under the Spanish Inquisition)
1. a yellow garment worn by a penitent heretic.
2. a black garment worn by an impenitent heretic at an auto-da-fé.
[1550–60; < Sp, after San Benito Saint Benedict]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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?Que los lideres genocidas han acabado en la carcel, o que los serbios han debido arrastrar el merecido sanbenito de ser los malos de la pelicula?
24, 142, 177 for the sanbenito, or sackcloth of the Inquisition; pp.
Because of the surviving records of autos-da-fe, we know that some of them were sent to prison or dispatched to the galleys; some were to receive a hundred lashes or had to spend a few years in a monastery wearing a sanbenito, a penitential scapular.
Trainer Tony Cruz was in the spotlight with four winners at the meeting, including Sanbenito, who was his 400th winner as a trainer.
Winston completed a double when Sanbenito gained his second success of the campaign in the EBF Betting Exchange Novice Stakes while Newmarket trainer Rae Guest got off the 13-winner mark for the season when Marakabei got the verdict under George Duffield in the BBC North Yorkshire Handicap.
The most valuable race of the day - the pounds 12,500 six-furling Weatherbys Travel Conditions Stakes at Pontefract - can go to the Lynda Ramsden-trained Sanbenito.
These sentences varied from attending several masses barefoot and gagged while holding a candle, to walking through the town wearing a sanbenito (the cloth of the heretic), to being burned alive in a public auto de fe.