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a sacred cow

Something so special or respected that it is not be questioned or disparaged. The phrase refers to the veneration of the cow in Hinduism. If work is such a sacred cow for him, are you sure he's not an workaholic?
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

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 ?
Conservatives may be right - not that gay marriage is illegitimate, but about how extending the sacredness of individual conscience from religion to the entire range of belief has, in effect, moved the sacred core of our collective conscience from the churches to the judiciary.
is adamant that while the sacredness of human life does not appear as a specific phrase in the Bible, the concept has a strong basis in both Old and New Testaments (chaps.
Thus, human beings do not possess sacredness as an inherent quality.
Russo created the Freeing Women Activation to return sacredness, value, equality and power to each woman so they can be honored and bring healing to our children and the planet.
The topics include Riders in the Chariot as a tale for our times, the politics of pessimism in The Tree of Man, earthed and transformative sacredness in Voss, and his queering of the Platonic myth.
KNOX COLLEGE, TORONTO, is encouraging people to explore spirituality and sacredness through art at an event on Oct.
The words and images communicate themes that have been significant to Guion in the past decade: following one's life path, love, mystery, gratitude, sacredness and silence.
Sacredness does not seem to be thought of as naturally present (despite the plurality of religious buildings) among tower blocks, road networks, shopping malls.
The society's mandate is to strive to protect and enhance the sacredness of children by providing Aboriginal children and their families with holistic education, supportive social services, and high-quality culturally relevant programs.
Many Maori were reluctant to work in the area of whakatahe or abortions, because of traditional concepts around the sacredness of the human body (ira tangata) and the mauri or life-force of the embryo, Wallace said.
The only thing I sensed was the aroma of sacredness prevailing all over.
THIS show explores the extraordinary life of John O'Donohue - writer, poet, philosopher and former priest who believed in the sacredness of the land and natural world.
Archbishop Smith said: "I have written to the Prime Minister, asking him that, in view of these very important issues which touch on the sacredness of human life, its meaning and purpose, would he please grant a free vote, because that is what is really required.
The Anglican Church of Canada affirms the sacredness of all human life as God's gift to creation," wrote Archbishop Hiltz.
One of us ought to speak (since men haven't done so) of the sacredness of this painful and divine condition.