sa·​cred | \ ˈsā-krəd How to pronounce sacred (audio) \

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
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 Last year on Yom Kippur, the most sacred Jewish holiday, a gunman attempted to attack a synagogue in Halle, leaving two dead. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "A Survivor’s Diary Emerges From Auschwitz," 24 Jan. 2020 Often referred to as the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) both in the fall, are considered two of the most sacred holidays. Emma Marticke, CNN, "Your burning Hanukkah questions, answered," 22 Dec. 2019 The image, named Our Lady of Guadalupe, is considered one of the most sacred objects in Mexico and has been preserved for almost 500 years. Laura Rodríguez,, "Why 200,000 people travel each December on foot, by horse and even semitruck to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines," 11 Dec. 2019 The hoary bat is sacred to many Polynesian cultures. Noelle Swan, Scientific American, "Hawaii Wants to Lead the Renewable Revolution," 21 Sep. 2019 Mauna Kea is sacred in Polynesian culture and the protests opposing the TMT have even gained support from actors Jason Momoa and Dwayne Johnson. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Map Shows Dwindling Number for Prime Stargazing Locations," 9 Aug. 2019 Barbat cites the glass pyramid at the Louvre, designed by I.M. Pei as a modernist intervention at the heart of one of the city’s sacred cultural spaces, as an example of the latter. Washington Post, "The battle for Notre Dame," 16 Jan. 2020 These buildings’ structure and ornamentation reflected an idea of Roman monumentality, but these new sacred spaces were Christian, reflecting the spread of this faith across Europe. Inés Monteira, National Geographic, "Majestic medieval churches ascended along Christian pilgrims' paths," 17 Dec. 2019 Members of two churches in Hardin County, Kentucky, arrived at their houses of worship Sunday morning only to find their sacred spaces had been broken into and vandalized. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "'We just cried': 2 Kentucky churches on same street were vandalized and looted, leaders say," 11 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for sacred

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sacred

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sacred.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sacred


How to pronounce sacred (audio)

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 How to pronounce sacred (audio) \

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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