sa·​cred | \ˈsā-krəd \

Definition of sacred 

1a : dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity a tree sacred to the gods

b : devoted exclusively to one service or use (as of a person or purpose) a fund sacred to charity

2a : worthy of religious veneration : holy

b : entitled to reverence and respect

3 : of or relating to religion : not secular or profane sacred music

4 archaic : accursed

5a : unassailable, inviolable

b : highly valued and important a sacred responsibility

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Other Words from sacred

sacredly adverb
sacredness noun

Examples of sacred in a Sentence

The burial site is sacred ground. the sacred image of the Virgin Mary the sacred pursuit of liberty We have a sacred duty to find out the truth. Freedom is a sacred right. They'll make jokes about anything. Nothing is sacred to those guys. I can't believe they would do that. Is nothing sacred?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Even in 2018, Halloween can still be a way of encountering the sacred. Regina Hansen, WSJ, "The Multicultural Past of Our Commercial Halloween," 26 Oct. 2018 Suspected al-Qaeda militants had bombed the golden-domed al-Askari mosque sacred to Shiites, sparking a years-long sectarian conflict throughout the country. Washington Post, "Public enemy or savior? An Iraqi city could reveal the true Moqtada al-Sadr," 4 July 2018 Because of this, jade is considered to be extremely sacred (or tapu). Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Unique Necklace Is a Symbol of Strength and Integrity," 31 Oct. 2018 The service will feature movies like The Descent, The Silence of the Lambs, and the original Omen films — although those will be vanishing on October 31st, so subscribers will have to strike while the sacred, Antichrist-killing daggers are hot. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Everything coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now in October," 30 Sep. 2018 In fact, the subconscious is an extremely sacred place. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Is Lucid Dreaming? Your Guide to Exploring Your Subconscious," 18 Sep. 2018 According to traditional knowledge among Aborigines, koalas were considered sacred in many communities, Johnson said. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "Koala genome shows how the adorable marsupial lives on eucalyptus leaves," 2 July 2018 For years, those life-giving waters were threatened by the massive Grand Canyon Escalade development, which would have brought tens of thousands of tourists a day to the sacred site. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "Sacred Native American Sites Are Not Your Playgrounds," 5 July 2018 The parking lot is smack dab in the middle of the shellmound sacred historical site. Peter Fimrite,, "Developer threatens to act against Berkeley over affordable housing project," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sacred.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sacred

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sacred

Middle English, from past participle of sacren to consecrate, from Anglo-French sacrer, from Latin sacrare, from sacr-, sacer sacred; akin to Latin sancire to make sacred, Hittite šaklāi- rite

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Statistics for sacred

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sacred

The first known use of sacred was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sacred



English Language Learners Definition of sacred

: worthy of religious worship : very holy

: relating to religion

: highly valued and important : deserving great respect


sa·​cred | \ˈsā-krəd \

Kids Definition of sacred

1 : holy sense 1 a sacred shrine

2 : religious sense 2 sacred songs

3 : deserving to be respected and honored Freedom is a sacred right.

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Comments on sacred

What made you want to look up sacred? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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