sacred

adjective

sa·​cred ˈsā-krəd How to pronounce sacred (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
5
b
: highly valued and important
a sacred responsibility
sacredly adverb
sacredness noun

Example Sentences

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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web South Mountain is considered sacred to the Indigenous people. The Arizona Republic, 17 Jan. 2023 King Lalibela, who reigned over the region from 1181 to 1221 and is credited with building the stone churches, was said to have lived there in a modest tent with his wife, and the spot was considered sacred. Ann Neumann, Harper’s Magazine , 6 Jan. 2023 The cave is considered sacred by its owners, the Aboriginal Mirning people. Molly Enking, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2022 In 2020, construction crews working on the border conducted a series of detonations along a stretch of land in southern Arizona considered sacred by the local indigenous tribe. Quinn Owen, ABC News, 13 Dec. 2022 Ending the climate crisis will almost certainly require putting solar panels and wind turbines on huge amounts of land — some of it valuable wildlife habitat, some of it now used for food production, some of it held sacred by Indigenous tribes. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2022 Those include dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT, ibogaine and mescaline not derived from peyote, which is considered sacred by some Native Americans. Thomas Peipert, ajc, 9 Nov. 2022 About 150 items considered sacred by the Sioux peoples that have been stored at a small Massachusetts museum for more than a century are being returned, museum and tribal officials announced Monday. Mark Pratt, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Oct. 2022 About 150 items considered sacred by the Sioux peoples that have been stored at a Massachusetts museum for more than a century are being returned, museum and tribal officials announced Monday. Mark Pratt, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sacred

Cite this Entry

“Sacred.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacred. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

sacred

adjective
sa·​cred ˈsā-krəd How to pronounce sacred (audio)
1
: set apart in honor of someone (as a god)
a mountain sacred to Jupiter
2
: holy sense 3
the sacred name of Jesus
3
: religious entry 1 sense 2
sacred songs
4
: deserving respect or honor
a sacred right
sacredly adverb
sacredness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sacred

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