San`be*ni"to (?), n. [Sp. & Pg. sambenito, contr. from L. saccus sack + benedictus blessed.]
Anciently, a sackcloth coat worn by penitens on being reconciled to the church.
A garnment or cap, or sometimes both, painted with flames, figures, etc., and worn by persons who had been examined by the Inquisition and were brought forth for punishment at the auto-da-f'e.
© Webster 1913.