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[sey-krid] /ˈseɪ krɪd/
devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.
entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.
pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane):
sacred music; sacred books.
reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object:
a morning hour sacred to study.
regarded with reverence:
the sacred memory of a dead hero.
secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right:
sacred oaths; sacred rights.
properly immune from violence, interference, etc., as a person or office.
Origin of sacred
1275-1325; Middle English, orig. past participle of sacren to consecrate < Latin sacrāre to devote, derivative of sacer holy; see -ed2
Related forms
sacredly, adverb
sacredness, noun
nonsacred, adjective
nonsacredly, adverb
nonsacredness, noun
pseudosacred, adjective
semisacred, adjective
supersacred, adjective
unsacred, adjective
unsacredly, adverb
Can be confused
sacred, sacrosanct.
2. venerable, divine. See holy. 4. consecrated. 5. revered. 6. sacrosanct. 7. inviolate, inviolable.
2. blasphemous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sacred
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After they had withdrawn, no other footsteps approached the sacred place.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Maidens of the first families were selected to embroider the sacred peplus.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • And the sacred "ordinance," with all other proprieties, was left in ruins that day.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • It is only the true lover to whom the breathing form is as sacred as the breathless.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • We are charged with the sacred duty of making their path as smooth and easy as we can.

British Dictionary definitions for sacred


exclusively devoted to a deity or to some religious ceremony or use; holy; consecrated
worthy of or regarded with reverence, awe, or respect
protected by superstition or piety from irreligious actions
connected with or intended for religious use: sacred music
dedicated to; in honour of
Derived Forms
sacredly, adverb
sacredness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sacrāre to set apart as holy, from sacer holy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sacred

late 14c., past participle adjective from obsolete verb sacren "to make holy" (c.1200), from Old French sacrer "consecrate, anoint, dedicate" (12c.) or directly from Latin sacrare "to make sacred, consecrate; hold sacred; immortalize; set apart, dedicate," from sacer (genitive sacri) "sacred, dedicated, holy, accursed," from Old Latin saceres, from PIE root *sak- "to sanctify." Buck groups it with Oscan sakrim, Umbrian sacra and calls it "a distinctive Italic group, without any clear outside connections." Related: Sacredness.

Nasalized form is sancire "make sacred, confirm, ratify, ordain." Sacred cow "object of Hindu veneration," is from 1891; figurative sense of "one who must not be criticized" is first recorded 1910, reflecting Western views of Hinduism. Sacred Heart "the heart of Jesus as an object of religious veneration" is from 1765.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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