Definitions

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

  • noun One that is immune from criticism, often unreasonably so.

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

  • noun 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.

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

  • noun a person unreasonably held to be immune to criticism

Etymologies

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

[From the veneration of the cow by the Hindus.]

Examples

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  • Something held in such respect that it cannot be criticised or attacked.

    May 21, 2008