1. Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
2. Worthy of religious veneration: the sacred teachings of the Buddha.
3. Made or declared holy: sacred bread and wine.
4. Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person: sacred to the memory of her sister; a private office sacred to the President.
5. Worthy of respect; venerable.
6. Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.
[Middle English, past participle of sacren, to consecrate, from Old French sacrer, from Latin sacrāre, from sacer, sacr-, sacred; see sak- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.