altar

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be sacrificed on the altar of (something)

To be abandoned in exchange for something the speaker considers inferior. It seems that the curriculum at this school has been sacrificed on the altar of profit. I know you want to help your family, but your happiness shouldn't be sacrificed on the altar of servitude.
See also: altar, of, on, sacrifice

bow to the porcelain altar

To vomit into a toilet, usually as the result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Doing so often requires one to kneel in front of or bend over the toilet (the "porcelain altar"), a position that is likened to kneeling before or bowing to a sacred idol. I bet that if Tommy doesn't stop drinking, he'll bow to the porcelain altar all night. I've never thrown up so much in my life. I can't wait till I stop bowing to the porcelain altar.
See also: altar, bow, porcelain

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

leave (one) at the altar

To abandon one at one's wedding ceremony after deciding, at the last minute, not to get married. How dare you leave me at the altar? If you were having second thoughts, you had plenty of time to tell me without humiliating me in front of all our family and friends. My heart just breaks for Shelly—I can't believe Mark left her at the altar.
See also: altar, leave

left at the altar

Having been left by one's prospective spouse at or just before the wedding ceremony. I'm very hesitant to even consider marriage again after having been left at the altar. My heart just breaks for Shelly—I can't believe she got left at the altar.
See also: altar, left

pray at the porcelain altar

slang To vomit into a toilet, especially as the result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Doing so often requires one to kneel in front of or bend over the toilet (the "porcelain altar"), a position that is likened to kneeling during prayer. If Tommy doesn't stop drinking, he's going to be praying at the porcelain altar all night. The chemotherapy has had me praying at the porcelain altar throughout the day.
See also: altar, porcelain, pray

sacrifice (something) on the altar of (something)

To abandon something in exchange for something else (which is stated after "of"). I know you want to help your family, but you can't sacrifice your happiness on the altar of servitude. It seems that the curriculum at this school has been sacrificed on the altar of profit.
See also: altar, of, on, sacrifice
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

be sacrificed on the altar of something

If someone or something is sacrificed on the altar of a particular belief or activity, they suffer or are harmed because of it. They promised that the interests of farmers wouldn't be sacrificed on the altar of free trade. Let us hope that these children's education will not be sacrificed on the altar of social experimentation. Note: You can also say that someone or something is a sacrifice on the altar of a particular thing. He was just another sacrifice on the altar of celebrity. Note: An altar was a large stone on which animals were killed during the worship of a god or goddess in former times. The killing of an animal in this way was called a sacrifice.
See also: altar, of, on, sacrifice, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

sacrifice someone or something on the altar of

make someone or something suffer in the interests of someone or something else.
1994 Post (Denver) The cherished goal of a color-blind society…has been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Members of the Intelligence and Warrant and Subpoena Units nabbed Altares by the virtue of an arrest warrant at around 6:30 a.m.
Logo apos a entrada da gruta, foi possivel identificar o batente ja desgastado pelo tempo de uma porta e cinco altares construidos de blocos abatidos.
In 1928 his play Para el cielo y los altares ("Toward Heaven and the Altars"), prophesying the fall of the Spanish monarchy, was banned by the government.
Son formas de materializacion de la memoria por medio de altares espontaneos creados para marcar el espacio, recordar la perdida y el dolor sentido.
Murio en 1613, sin llegar a ver en los altares a su admirada Teresa de Jesus, cuya vida se publico con su nombre en Zaragoza en 1605.
El autor muestra, dentro de un orden sistematico impecable, los cimientos biblicos y patristicos implicitos en el Ritual de la dedicacion de iglesias y altares en su edicion tipica de 1977.