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  • sacrosanct
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SAK-roh-sankt\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1
: most sacred or holy : inviolable
2
: treated as if holy : immune from criticism or violation
  • EXAMPLES

Our family traditions may seem silly to outsiders, but to us they are sacrosanct.

"'Is college a lousy investment?' This was the question posed in a Newsweek cover story in the fall, a blunt challenge to America’s long-standing, nearly sacrosanct belief in the value of a college education." — From an article by Bob King in Business Lexington (Kentucky), February 14, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

That which is sacrosanct is doubly sacred: the two Latin components underlying the word, "sacro" and "sanctus," were combined long ago to form a phrase meaning "hallowed by a sacred rite." "Sacro" means "by a sacred rite" and comes from "sacrum," a Latin noun that lives on in English anatomy as the name for our pelvic vertebrae—a shortening of "os sacrum," which literally means "holy bone." "Sanctus" means "sacred" and gave us "saint" and obvious words like "sanctimony," "sanctify," and "sanctuary."

Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "clamant," our Word of the Day from February 17? The answer is ...

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