altar


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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

  (formal)
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 ?
Ay, Jew,'' said Prior Aymer; ``kneel to God, as represented in the servant of his altar, and who knows, with thy sincere repentance and due gifts to the shrine of Saint Robert, what grace thou mayst acquire for thyself and thy daughter Rebecca?
The duke approached the altar, knelt as a priest might have done before a crucifix, and opened the casket.
She was sorry that she could not do anything for the altar.
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.
It was at the moment when he was returning, on Quasimodo day, from saying his mass at the Altar of the Lazy, which was by the side of the door leading to the nave on the right, near the image of the Virgin, that his attention had been attracted by the group of old women chattering around the bed for foundlings.
Beside the opening in the floor, just behind the altar, through which he had entered the court from the subterranean chamber below, the Belgian discovered several doors leading from the enclosure upon the level of the floor.
And had he needed further assurance as to the correctness of his theory he had only to cast his eyes upon the brownish-red stains that caked the stone altar and covered the floor in its immediate vicinity, or to the human skulls which grinned from countless niches in the towering walls.
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.
And Leto sware the great oath of the gods: `Now hear this, Earth and wide Heaven above, and dropping water of Styx (this is the strongest and most awful oath for the blessed gods), surely Phoebus shall have here his fragrant altar and precinct, and you he shall honour above all.
Suppliants of all ages are seated round the altar at the palace doors, at their head a PRIEST OF ZEUS.
Under the altar in the chapel, sir," answered Thomas.
He informs Oedipus that a stranger who has taken sanctuary at the altar of Poseidon wishes to see him.