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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.
sacrifice (someone or something) for (someone or something else)
1. To give up, relinquish, or surrender someone or something in order to obtain someone or something, benefit someone or something, or achieve some purpose. I had to sacrifice my favorite three baseball cards to get my hands on the ultra-rare Mickey Mantle card Tom was carrying. He sacrificed a lot of opportunities for you, and this is how you repay him? I don't mind sacrificing a weekend for a chance to win a million dollars on TV.
2. To permit harm, death, destruction, or failure to someone or something in order to obtain something or for some purpose. Their government is clearly willing to sacrifice its citizens for this foolish war. Sarah sacrificed a lot of friendships and relationships for her place at the head of the company.
sacrifice (someone or something) to (someone or something else)
1. To make a sacrificial offering of someone or something to some being, deity, or power. The tribe selects someone each year and sacrifices them to the gods. In burning our material possessions, we sacrifice that which binds us to the mortal world to the unknowable forces of eternity.
2. To give up, relinquish, or surrender someone or something in order to do something. He sacrificed a lot of career opportunities to follow his dream of moving to Japan. I sacrificed the best years of my life to raise you kids!
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
sacrifice someone or something for someone or something
to forfeit someone or something for the sake of someone or something. Surely you won't sacrifice your dear wife for a silly twit like Francine! Would you sacrifice your bank account for a chance to go to Europe?
See also: sacrifice
sacrifice someone or something to someone or something
to make an offering of or give up someone or something to someone or some power. The high priest prepared to sacrifice the prisoner to the gods. I sacrificed a lot of money to a fancy lifestyle.
See also: sacrifice
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
sacrifice someone or something on the altar ofmake 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