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 Effectively, the rule appears to spell the end of exclusively single-family zoning — long a sacred cow in suburban Miami and the rest of the country — across unincorporated Miami-Dade. Andres Viglucci, Miami Herald, 29 Mar. 2024 Those cuts would even hit defense spending, long a sacred cow to Republicans. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 29 Feb. 2024 Khan’s ideas have challenged the closest thing to a sacred cow in antitrust law. Brian Fung, CNN, 16 Oct. 2023 Others saw a businessman accustomed to getting his way who hitched his cart to a sacred cow – the nation’s veterans. David Sharp, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 July 2023 In true comedy club fashion, no sacred cows were spared by those who took the mic. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 10 Mar. 2023 Bambi is something of a sacred cow. Chris Perkins,, 5 Dec. 2020 It’s all served on a sizzling hot platter in the shape of Nandi, a Hindu sacred cow. Peter Rubin, Longreads, 29 Apr. 2022 Some readers are by now gasping at the hypocrisy of their hippy punching, sacred cow busting blogger, he who lambasts the nature-worhshipping, organic-loving, GMO-fearing denizens of the world. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 25 Apr. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sacred cow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 29 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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