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

sacrifice (something) on the altar of

To abandon something in exchange for something else (which is named after "of"). The phrase can, but does not have to, include a noun after "sacrifice." 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

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

be sacrificed on the altar of (something)

To abandon something in exchange for something else (which is named after "of"). The phrase can, but does not have to, include a noun after "sacrifice." 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

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

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

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.

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.
I frequently passed the little temples reposing in the shadows of the taboo groves and beheld the offerings--mouldy fruit spread out upon a rude altar, or hanging in half-decayed baskets around some uncouth jolly-looking image; I was present during the continuance of the festival; I daily beheld the grinning idols marshalled rank and file in the Hoolah Hoolah ground, and was often in the habit of meeting those whom I supposed to be the priests.
Their worshippers were such a precious set of fickle-minded and irreverent heathens, that there was no telling when they might topple one of them over, break it to pieces, and making a fire with it on the very altar itself, fall to roasting the offerings of bread-fruit, and at them in spite of its teeth.
Each priestess bore two golden cups, and as they formed in line along one side of the altar the men formed opposite them, advancing and taking each a cup from the female opposite.
As she advanced to the opposite side of the altar she halted, and the chanting ceased.
If you, dearest Julia, were approaching the altar the bell would ring out its merriest peal.
The bride and most of her company had been too much occupied with the bustle of entrance to hear the first boding stroke of the bell, or at least to reflect on the singularity of such a welcome to the altar.
The next place the guide took us to in the holy church was an altar dedicated to the Roman soldier who was of the military guard that attended at the Crucifixion to keep order, and who--when the vail of the Temple was rent in the awful darkness that followed; when the rock of Golgotha was split asunder by an earthquake; when the artillery of heaven thundered, and in the baleful glare of the lightnings the shrouded dead flitted about the streets of Jerusalem--shook with fear and said, "Surely this was the Son of God
In this altar they used to keep one of the most curious relics that human eyes ever looked upon--a thing that had power to fascinate the beholder in some mysterious way and keep him gazing for hours together.
Then the grief which he began to share with others became gentle and holy, and he rose up once more, and walked up the steps to the altar, and while the tears flowed freely down his cheeks, knelt down humbly and hopefully, to lay down there his share of a burden which had proved itself too heavy for him to bear in his own strength.
Where better could we leave him than at the altar before which he had first caught a glimpse of the glory of his birthright, and felt the drawing of the bond which links all living souls together in one brotherhood--at the grave beneath the altar of him who had opened his eyes to see that glory, and softened his heart till it could feel that bond?
They were the priests of the Flaming God of Opar--the same, shaggy, knotted, hideous little men who had dragged Jane Clayton to the sacrificial altar at this very spot years before.
Again the lord of the wilderness roared, turning his baleful gaze upon the altar.
382-387) Thus spoke the lord, far-working Apollo, and pushed over upon her a crag with a shower of rocks, hiding her streams: and he made himself an altar in a wooded grove very near the clear-flowing stream.
Let us not question the motives of the Philistine," interrupted Abel-Phittim' "for to-day we profit for the first time by his avarice or by his generosity; but rather let us hurry to the ramparts, lest offerings should be wanting for that altar whose fire the rains of heaven can not extinguish, and whose pillars of smoke no tempest can turn aside.