sacred cow


: one that is often unreasonably immune from criticism or opposition

Example Sentences

The old government program has become a sacred cow.
Recent Examples on the Web But Zuckerberg’s comments during last month’s earnings call suggest Reality Labs—which only accounts for 18% of the company’s expenses this year through September—remains a sacred cow. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 7 Nov. 2022 Which raises the question of whether the PGA Tour’s very business model may one day be a sacred cow that Monahan and his board are forced to slaughter. Eamon Lynch, USA TODAY, 24 July 2022 For obvious reasons, when discussing global warming, the media never mentions the sacred cow of animal and dairy production that account for more than half the greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 But before a viewer even has time to think about that question, the filmmaker is in pursuit of another sacred cow. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 7 Apr. 2022 The biggest sacred cow in Republican politics these days is Donald Trump. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 Policymakers should be more ambitious to hold spectrum auctions, but that implicates national security concerns from the Department of Defense (DoD), the sacred cow of spectrum policy which grazes on two-thirds of America’s radio waves. Roslyn Layton, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Boxes and packing materials, almost a sacred cow, were removed from stores in 2017. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, 24 Dec. 2020 Police unions are no longer a political sacred cow, not even for Republicans. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, 2 July 2020 See More

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.

Word History


from the veneration of the cow by Hindus

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sacred cow was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near sacred cow

Cite this Entry

“Sacred cow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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