American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One that is immune from criticism, often unreasonably so: "The need for widespread secrecy has become a sacred cow” ( Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists).
- n. idiomatic Something which cannot be tampered with, or criticized, for fear of public outcry. A person, institution, belief system, etc. which, for no reason other than the demands of established social etiquette or popular opinion, should be accorded respect or reverence, and not touched, handled or examined too closely.
- n. a person unreasonably held to be immune to criticism
- From the veneration of the cow by the Hindus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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