sac·​ro·​sanct | \ˈsa-krō-ˌsaŋ(k)t \

Definition of sacrosanct 

1 : most sacred or holy : inviolable

2 : treated as if holy : immune from criticism or violation politically sacrosanct programs

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Other Words from sacrosanct

sacrosanctity \ ˌsa-​krō-​ˈsaŋ(k)-​tə-​tē \ noun

Did You Know?

That which is sacrosanct is doubly sacred: the two Latin components underlying the word, "sacro" and "sanctus," were combined long ago to form a phrase meaning "hallowed by a sacred rite." Sacro means "by a sacred rite" and comes from "sacrum," a Latin noun that lives on in English anatomy as the name for our pelvic vertebrae-a shortening of "os sacrum," which literally means "holy bone." Sanctus means "sacred" and gave us "saint" and obvious words like "sanctimony," "sanctify," and "sanctuary."

Examples of sacrosanct in a Sentence

the government's most sacrosanct institutions The tradition is regarded as sacrosanct.

Recent Examples on the Web

South Korean law requires able-bodied men to serve 21 months in the military before the age of 30, a decades-old policy regarded as sacrosanct in a country still technically at war with North Korea. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "South Korean Soccer Star Needs to Beat Japan or Report for Duty," 30 Aug. 2018 For the Jews who were the first members of the Jesus movement, nothing was more sacrosanct than the Sabbath, the seventh day of rest and worship. George Weigel, WSJ, "The Easter Effect and How It Changed the World," 30 Mar. 2018 But many Saudis were still trying to process their new reality on Sunday, the first day that overturned what had been one of the most sacrosanct prohibitions in the absolute monarchy. Margaret Coker, New York Times, "Saudi Women Can Now Drive. Overcoming Beliefs on Gender Will Be Harder.," 24 June 2018 Louis Vuitton — France’s most lucrative fashion brand — boasts unrivalled access to Paris’ most sacrosanct sites. Washington Post, "Chanel caps Paris with ode to fall; stars out at Vuitton," 6 Mar. 2018 Meal times are typically sacrosanct, screen-free zones. Pamela Druckerman, New York Times, "Are iPhones Bad for Kids?," 8 Mar. 2018 But the right to represent oneself is equally sacrosanct, said Atlanta defense attorney Don Samuel, who’s authored books on criminal case law. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Her life on the line, Gwinnett woman shuns lawyers in death-penalty case," 28 June 2018 Since only 132 days remain until the 2018 midterms, under the McConnell Standard, good-faith adherence to sacrosanct institutional norms would require the president and the Senate to put the process on hold until January. Jay Willis, GQ, "Why Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Is Even Worse Than You Think," 27 June 2018 In a profession where personal integrity is sacrosanct, forcing people to publicly deny their own identity could lead only to trouble. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "How a Former US Spy Chief Became Trump’s Fiercest Critic," 30 May 2018

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

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sacrosanct

Latin sacrosanctus, probably from sacro sanctus hallowed by a sacred rite

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sacrosanct

The first known use of sacrosanct was in 1601

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English Language Learners Definition of sacrosanct

: too important and respected to be changed, criticized, etc.

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What made you want to look up sacrosanct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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