Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
  • adjective Worthy of religious veneration.
  • adjective Made or declared holy.
  • adjective Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person.
  • adjective Worthy of respect; venerable.
  • adjective Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hallowed, consecrated, or made holy by association with divinity or divine things, or by solemn religious ceremony or sanction; set apart, dedicated, or appropriated to holy or religious purposes or service; regarded as holy or under divine protection: as, a sacred place; a sacred day; sacred service; the sacred lotus.
  • Devoted, dedicated, or consecrated with pious or filial intent: with to: as, a monument sacred to the memory of some one.
  • Devoted to destruction or infamy; execrable; accursed; infamous.
  • Of or pertaining to religion or divine things; relating to the service or will of the deity: opposed to secular and profane: as, sacred music; sacred history.
  • Entitled to consideration, respect, or reverence; not to be thoughtlessly treated or intruded upon; venerable.
  • Hence To be kept inviolate; not to be violated, profaned, or made common; inviolate.
  • Not amenable to punishment; enjoying immunity: as, the king's person is sacred.
  • Synonyms Sacred, Holy. Holy is stronger and more absolute than any word of cognate meaning. That which is sacred may derive its sanction from man; that which is holy has its sanctity directly from God or as connected with him. Hence we speak of the Holy Bible, and the sacred writings of the Hindus. He who is holy is absolutely or essentially free from sin; sacred is not a word of personal character. The opposite of holy is sinful or wicked; that of sacred is secular, profane, or common.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Set apart by solemn religious ceremony; especially, in a good sense, made holy; set apart to religious use; consecrated; not profane or common.
  • adjective Relating to religion, or to the services of religion; not secular; religious.
  • adjective Designated or exalted by a divine sanction; possessing the highest title to obedience, honor, reverence, or veneration; entitled to extreme reverence; venerable.
  • adjective Hence, not to be profaned or violated; inviolable.
  • adjective Consecrated; dedicated; devoted; -- with to.
  • adjective Archaic Solemnly devoted, in a bad sense, as to evil, vengeance, curse, or the like; accursed; baleful.
  • adjective (R.C. Ch.) a religious order of women, founded in France in 1800, and approved in 1826. It was introduced into America in 1817. The members of the order devote themselves to the higher branches of female education.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See Hamadryas.
  • adjective (Bot.) a seed of the Oriental lotus (Nelumbo speciosa or Nelumbium speciosum), a plant resembling a water lily; also, the plant itself. See Lotus.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See Scarab.
  • adjective See Canon, n., 3.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) any one of numerous species of fresh-water African fishes of the family Mormyridæ. Several large species inhabit the Nile and were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians; especially Mormyrus oxyrhynchus.
  • adjective See Ibis.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) The bhunder, or rhesus monkey.
  • adjective (Civil Law) the place where a deceased person is buried.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of sacre.
  • adjective Set apart by solemn religious ceremony; especially, in a good sense, made holy; set apart to religious use; consecrated; not profane or common; as, a sacred place; a sacred day; sacred service.
  • adjective Relating to religion, or to the services of religion; not secular; religious; as, sacred history.
  • adjective Designated or exalted by a divine sanction; possessing the highest title to obedience, honor, reverence, or veneration; entitled to extreme reverence; venerable.
  • adjective Hence, not to be profaned or violated; inviolable.
  • adjective Consecrated; dedicated; devoted; -- with to.
  • adjective archaic Solemnly devoted, in a bad sense, as to evil, vengeance, curse, or the like; accursed; baleful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective (often followed by `to') devoted exclusively to a single use or purpose or person
  • adjective worthy of religious veneration
  • adjective worthy of respect or dedication
  • adjective made or declared or believed to be holy; devoted to a deity or some religious ceremony or use
  • adjective concerned with religion or religious purposes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, past participle of sacren, to consecrate, from Old French sacrer, from Latin sacrāre, from sacer, sacr-, sacred; see sak- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English sacred, isacred, past participle of Middle English sacren, sakeren ("to make holy, hallow"), equivalent to sacre +‎ -ed.

Examples

Comments

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  • Maddy not being what she seemed would be a uniquely dismal disappointment, the sort of thing that makes you say, Jesus, is nothing sacred? From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 21, 2012