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lead (one) to the altar

To marry someone. I can't believe it's only a month until I lead her to the altar!
See also: altar, lead

bow to the porcelain altar

Sl. to vomit, especially as a result of drinking too much alcohol. (The porcelain altar is a euphemism for a toilet bowl.) He spent the whole night bowing to the porcelain altar. I have the feeling that I will be bowing to the porcelain altar before morning.
See also: altar, bow, porcelain

sacrifice something on the altar of something

to destroy something in order to obtain something else He sacrificed his family life on the altar of his ambition and greed.
See also: altar, of, on, sacrifice

be sacrificed on the altar of something

to be destroyed by an activity, system or belief that is bad but more important or more powerful Service and quality have been sacrificed on the altar of profit.
See also: altar, of, on, sacrifice

bow to the porcelain altar

in. to empty one’s stomach; to vomit. (The porcelain altar is the toilet bowl.) He spent the whole night bowing to the porcelain altar.
See also: altar, bow, porcelain
References in classic literature ?
Then Mother Simon removed him in order to set him on the altar.
They reach the chapel vast and dim, and there, before the great altar with its gleaming lights, the Abbot in his robes chants the services, but where the voices of choir and people were wont to join, there sounds only the clear high voice of one little boy.
hurriedly left the church, tears streaming down his cheeks, to the complete dismay of the sad little group at the altar, and the consternation of all present.
If I sell the very pyx and candlesticks on the altar at Jorvaulx, I shall scarce raise the half; and it will be necessary for that purpose that I go to Jorvaulx myself; ye may retain as borrows* my two priests.
The duke approached the altar, knelt as a priest might have done before a crucifix, and opened the casket.
As they streamed up the broad aisle, while the pews and pillars seemed to brighten on either side, their steps were as buoyant as if they mistook the church for a ball-room, and were ready to dance hand in hand to the altar.
Thou forgettest, however, Ben-Levi," replied Abel-Phittim, "that the Roman Pompey, who is now impiously besieging the city of the Most High, has no assurity that we apply not the lambs thus purchased for the altar, to the sustenance of the body, rather than of the spirit.
A long time had apparently passed since his heart had stopped beating, for the white and rosy procession was in fact half way up the nave, the Bishop, the Rector and two white-winged assistants were hovering about the flower-banked altar, and the first chords of the Spohr symphony were strewing their flower-like notes before the bride.
The great altar of the cathedral and also three or four minor ones are a perfect mass of gilt gimcracks and gingerbread.
At the age of twenty, by special dispensation of the Holy See, he was a priest, and served as the youngest of the chaplains of Notre-Dame the altar which is called, because of the late mass which is said there,
Josiah Graves that morning had objected strongly to some candlesticks with which the Vicar had adorned the altar.
At one side of the table was a small carpet with various figures worked upon it, at the other was something resembling an altar on which lay a Testament and a skull.
Just before him stood a stone altar, stained with rusty-brown discolorations.
Through winding corridors she led, farther and farther into the remoter precincts of the temple, until they came to a great chamber in the center of which stood an altar.
While hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it, along with a burning cinder, to her nest.