sacred cow


Definition of sacred cow

: one that is often unreasonably immune from criticism or opposition

Examples of sacred cow in a Sentence

The old government program has become a sacred cow.
Recent Examples on the Web Police unions are no longer a political sacred cow, not even for Republicans. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, "What makes America exceptional," 2 July 2020 The sacred cows of health care are no longer looking so sacred, and the right health care companies and venture investors will recognize this opportunity and maximize their ability to do well by doing good. Eric M. Stone, STAT, "Covid-19 is changing the game for health care companies and investors," 5 June 2020 Without a doubt, even a temporary halt to MAX production makes this sacred cow all the more expensive to deliver to shareholders. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "Boeing Made These Shrewd Moves to Fend off Investor Revolt. Will it Last?," 18 Dec. 2019 Soleil Ho and The Chronicle’s Food team tried new restaurants, reconsidered sacred cows with fresh eyes and rekindled their love for old favorites to build this year’s Top 100 list. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Year in Review: Nav Center fight, impeachment and climate change in the Bay Area," 1 Jan. 2020 Any conglomerate could benefit from having a CEO for whom there are no sacred cows. Washington Post, "AT&T Is New. It Needs a New Type of CEO.," 18 Sep. 2019 Hopefully, future installments will learn the lessons of The Last Jedi and start to reflect that by taking some risks, leaving this familiar storyline behind, killing some sacred cows, and trying something new. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the franchise’s Attack of the Clones when it should be The Last Jedi," 27 Nov. 2018 But the only sacred cow was its market-leading position in the United States. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Why It's Easy to See SoftBank’s Hand as Uber Stands Down in Southeast Asia," 12 Mar. 2018 And Third Way’s Social Compact for the 21st Century is a truly omnidirectional form of cautiousness that avoids taking on any sacred cows of the left but simply cuts progressive aspirations down to micro size. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Centrist Democrats are out of ideas," 30 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sacred cow.' 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 cow

1910, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sacred cow

from the veneration of the cow by Hindus

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Time Traveler for sacred cow

Time Traveler

The first known use of sacred cow was in 1910

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Cite this Entry

“Sacred cow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for sacred cow

sacred cow


English Language Learners Definition of sacred cow

disapproving : someone or something that has been accepted or respected for a long time and that people are afraid or unwilling to criticize or question

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