Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to sacred: Sacred Space, Sacred texts

a sacred cow

Someone or something that is considered to have a status that allows it avoid any criticism or questioning. The phrase refers to the veneration of the cow in Hinduism. Unfortunately, that particular program is a sacred cow, and everyone loses their minds if you try to cut its funding. Why is he such a sacred cow around here? He's just a football coach.
See also: cow, sacred

sacred cow

Something that is considered above reproach or immune to negative criticism. (An allusion to cows' sacred status in the Hindu religion.) One thing you have to understand is that freedom of speech is one of the sacred cows of American culture and politics. The book has always been John's sacred cow—if you try to point out any of its flaws, he'll fly off on a tirade against you.
See also: cow, sacred

is nothing sacred?

A set question used to bemoan a real or perceived lack of respect for something or some topic. These tabloids have been publishing the most disgusting lies us following the death of our son. Is nothing sacred?
See also: nothing

nothing is sacred

A set phrase used to bemoan a real or perceived lack of respect for something or some topic. You should know by now that nothing is sacred for these tabloids. I'm not opposed to being a progressive society, but for kids these days it seems like nothing is sacred!
See also: nothing, sacred

sacred cow

Fig. something that is regarded by some people with such respect and veneration that they do not like it being criticized by anyone in any way. (From the fact that the cow is regarded as sacred in India and is not eaten or mistreated.) A university education is a sacred cow in the Smith family. Fred is regarded as a failure because he quit school at 16. Don't talk about eating meat to Pam. Vegetarianism is one of her sacred cows.
See also: cow, sacred

sacred cow

A person or thing immune to criticism or questioning, as in The rules governing the press conference have become a sacred cow in this administration. This term alludes to the honored status of cows in Hinduism, where they are a symbol of God's generosity to humankind. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
See also: cow, sacred

a sacred cow

If you describe a belief, opinion, or tradition as a sacred cow, you mean that people are not willing to criticize or question it or to do anything to change it. That would have meant leaving the Exchange Rate Mechanism — and the ERM is the sacred cow of British politics. The trade unions were, perhaps, the greatest sacred cow in British politics during the 1960s and early 1970s. Note: This is often used in a disapproving way. Note: In the Hindu religion, cows are regarded as sacred.
See also: cow, sacred

a sacred cow

an idea, custom, or institution held, especially unreasonably, to be above questioning or criticism.
Sacred cow originally referred to the veneration of the cow as a sacred animal in the Hindu religion.
1991 Here's Health The British diet remains a sacred cow.
See also: cow, sacred

nothing is ˈsacred

often used by somebody to complain that people do not respect traditions, ideas, values, etc. as much as they should: For journalists these days nothing is sacred (= they will write about anything).
See also: nothing, sacred

a sacred ˈcow

(disapproving) a person, belief or institution that a group of people greatly respect and never criticize: The National Health Service is a political sacred cow. No one likes to criticize it.In the Hindu religion, cows are respected and never harmed.
See also: cow, sacred

magic mushrooms

and sacred mushrooms
n. mushrooms of the genus Psilocybe, which cause visions or hallucinations when eaten. (Drugs.) Magic mushrooms are okay because they are natural, or something like that. They sometimes call peyote cactus buds, the “sacred mushrooms.”
See also: magic, mushroom

sacred mushrooms

See also: mushroom, sacred

sacred cow

Above criticism. Hindus regard bovines as revered creatures, not to be mistreated in any way. The English-speaking world began to apply this religious practice in the mid-19th century to any person or project (often political in nature) that, like Caesar's wife, should not be faulted.
See also: cow, sacred
References in periodicals archive ?
Echoing the core tenets of the Sacred Living Movement, "Sacred Medicine Cupboard" reveals the power and insight we possess when our body, mind, and soul communicate in harmony.
In between were three separate mini-book launchings: 'Creation is Spirited and Sacred: An Asian Indigenous Mysticism of Sacred Sustainability' by Fr.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya , Ministers Sagala Ratnayaka , Arjuna Ranatunga, Mahinda Samarasinghe joined the welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat when the stone carved sacred footprint of the Buddha arrived there following the conclusion of Sadaham Charika.
The "great apparition," on June 16, 1675, during the octave of Feast of Corpus Christi, was the source of the modern Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Faced with the fork in methodological theory, to sacred or not to sacred, this article brings Charles Long's work as a historian of religions to the table of Indigenous studies to think about the sacred, and particularly to think about Grant Bulltail's articulation of an American landscape where his Apsaalooke notion of the sacred is a little bit different from the notions of settlers.
Quran 9:36] In his commentary on this verse, Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, This part: oeSo do not wrong yourselves during them Ci means that people should not commit sins during these months as this is more grave than committing them in any other month just as sins are graver if committed in the Sacred Land.
It was these sovereigns' dearest wish that Hawai'i's future generations sing the sacred choral music that was a highlight of their recent tour of England.
That being said, the extraordinary popularity of The Sacred Harp music is undeniable, and for reasons that will perhaps never be fully understood, the singing traditions associated with most other shape-note tunebooks have diminished or ended (although singings and singing conventions can still be found that use The Southern Harmony, The Christian Harmony, The Missouri Harmony, The New Harp of Columbia, and various newer shape-note gospel song-books).
Of course, the sacred and venerable hands of Christ are the source of consecration of the hands of the priest when he is ordained.
The church on Charlton Street was merged last May with Notre Dame Church on Main Street and the combined parish was renamed Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart.
LaDuke posits that the interpretation of the sacred is critical.
Aimee Duncan pulled Sacred Heart into contention on the second before Alice Hall took them into the lead on the third leg - and that was where they stayed to the finish.
Sacred Harp singing is a folk tradition that had its origin in the southern United States during the nineteenth century.
The Sacred and Profane in English Renaissance Literature.