sacred cow an idea, custom or institution held, especially unreasonably, to be above criticism (with reference to the Hindus' respect for the cow as a holy animal). The term is recorded in English in its literal sense from the late 19th century, and in figurative use from the early 20th.
sacred geese in ancient Rome, kept as guardians of the Capitol; they gave warning of attack by the Gauls in 390 bc, and saved the Capitol when the rest of the city fell.
Sacred Heart an image representing the heart of Christ, used as an object of devotion among Roman Catholics. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Feast of the Sacred Heart is observed on the Friday in the week following Corpus Christi.
Sacred Way a route used traditionally for religious processions or pilgrimages; in particular, in ancient Rome, the Via Sacra, a street leading to the Forum and passing a number of sacred buildings, including the temple of Vesta, from which it took its name.
sa·cred / ˈsākrid/ • adj. connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration: sacred rites. ∎ religious rather than secular: sacred music. ∎ (of writing or text) embodying the laws or doctrines of a religion: a sacred Hindu text. ∎ regarded with great respect and reverence by a particular religion, group, or individual: an animal sacred to Mexican culture. ∎ sacrosanct: to a police officer nothing is sacred. DERIVATIVES: sa·cred·ly adv. sa·cred·ness n.