sacr-, sacro-

(Latin: divine, holy; religious; spiritual; heavenly)

sacred (adjective), more sacred, most sacred
1. Dedicated to a deity or to a religious purpose: The area at the top of the cliff was considered sacred ground because it was believed a holy man once lived there.
2. Relating to or used in religious worship: The spiritual leader read from the sacred books each week as part of her personal devotion to God.
3. Worthy of or regarded with religious veneration, worship, and respect: Many people believe that the statues in the temple are sacred pieces and so they pray to them.
4. Entitled to religious respect by an association with divinity or divine things: The religious artifacts in the glass case are considered sacred items and so they are highly prized.
5. Regarded with reverence: The brass plaque on the wall of the city hall was devoted to the sacred memory of a local war hero.
sacredly (adverb), more sacredly, most sacredly
1. A reference to being dedicated to or being devoted to the worship of a deity: Portia worshiped in a sacredly devout manner each day to her ancestral Roman gods.
2. Descriptive of being worthy of religious veneration: The sacredly written teachings of ancient religious leaders are being interpreted for a better understanding of historical beliefs.
3. Referring to being dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person: The saint's sacredly compiled autobiography revealed the difficulties she had when she was living among those who opposed her theological beliefs.
sacredness (s) (noun), sacrednesses (pl)
1. Considered to be holy and deserving respect; especially, because of a connection with God or other deities: During their explorations, the archeologists tried to respect the sacrednesses of the relics and temples which they discovered.
2. Considered too important to be changed: There is a special sacredness in the pursuit of liberty for all citizens.
sacrifice (s) (noun), sacrifices (pl)
1. A giving up of something valuable or important for someone or something else considered to be of more value or importance: There is at least one man who has been making many personal sacrifices to provide help for the city's homeless people.
2. A loss incurred by giving away or selling something below its value: The food store made many sacrifices in the prices of its products so more people could survive the aftermath of the hurricanes.
3. An offering to honor or to appease a god or gods; especially, of a ritually slaughtered animal or person: Descriptions of human sacrifices by some of the ancient civilizations in Central and South America reveal how extensive such slaughters took place.
4. In chess, an act or instance of allowing or forcing an opponent to take one of the pieces or pawns so the player can gain an advantageous position: As a clever player, Hans would often set up a sacrifice so his opponent would ultimately lose the game.
5. Etymology: from Old French sacrifise; from Latin sacrificium, from sacrificus, "performing priestly functions or sacrifices"; from sacra, "sacred rites"; from sacer, "sacred" + root of facere, "to do, to perform"; in other words, sacrifice means "to make holy".

Human sacrifice to multiple gods.

Certain sacrifices are offerings to honor or to appease a god or gods; especially, of a ritually slaughtered animal or human being as practiced in certain cultures in the past.

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sacrifice (verb), sacrifices; sacrificed; sacrificing
1. To make an offering to a god or gods: The ancient Greeks sacrificed lambs or calves before engaging in battles.
2. To give up, to relinquish, or to forfeit something: Maggie Brown decided to sacrifice her trip to Europe for a new car.
3. To sell at a loss: Jeb Brown decided to sacrifice his big house for a smaller and less expensive one so he could use the money from the sale of his larger home to support his son's university education.
sacrificial (adjective), more sacrificial, most sacrificial
1. A descriptive term for an act of killing an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity: Some ancient rituals required a sacrificial animal be brought to the altar just as the moon was to appear over the horizon.
2. Used in or connected with an act of giving up something one values for the sake of something that is considered to be of greater importance: Madeline Jason made a sacrificial commitment to give her entire estate to a university in memory of her son who had attended there and who had died in a hiking accident.
sacrificially (adverb), more sacrificially, most sacrificially
Relating to, descriptive of, or concerned with a tremendous loss: The untimely death of Gertrude's son on the last day of his assigned duty on the battlefield was felt as a sacrificially disastrous shock to everyone who knew him.
sacrificialness (s) (noun) (no plural)
A reference to the act or the nature of a loss incurred or suffered without returning: Henry's sister could not bear the sacrificialness of his life when he marched off to war.
sacrilege (s) (noun), sacrileges (pl)
1. Blasphemous behavior; such as, the violation, desecration, or theft of something considered holy or revered and respected: The spray paint on the statues of the honored soldiers in the park was considered a sacrilege which did not reflect the true feelings of the townspeople.
2. The act of violating or profaning anything of a religious or revered nature: Swearing by using God's name during the politician's speech was considered a sacrilege and he was greatly condemned by many in the audience.
3. The act of depriving something of its revered character; for example, the disrespectful or irreverent treatment of something other people consider worthy of respect and honor: Since the author was honest and she provided substantial evidence about the dishonest politicians, the severe criticism by the governor was considered a sacrilege by the writer's readers.
4. Etymology: from Latin sacrilegium, "the robbing of a temple, the stealing of sacred things", which is composed of sacer, "holy, divine, sacred" + -legus from legere, "to gather, to pick up, to carry off, to steal".
sacrilegious (adjective), more sacrilegious, most sacrilegious
1. Descriptive of someone or something that is profane, irreverent, or blasphemous regarding what is considered holy: Uttering death threats while kneeling in prayer was considered sacrilegious behavior by those who heard the mentally disturbed man who was muttering in the church.
2. Pertaining to or involving profane or unholy actions: Sheltering the donkey and cow in the church during the tornado was considered by some to be a sacrilegious behavior which was disrespectful to the dedicated purpose of the building.
3. Referring to someone who is guilty of inappropriate or irreverent behavior: In a thoughtless moment, Preston uttered a sacrilegious remark that was considered unacceptable because it was vulgar and used God's name in vain; all of which, offended everyone at the gathering.
sacrilegiously (adverb), more sacrilegiously, most sacrilegiously
1. A reference to a gross irreverence toward a hallowed or highly respected person, place, or thing: The sacrilegiously inappropriate behavior of the student who was using curse words in class resulted in his being sent to the principal who suspended the boy from school until there was a conference with his parents.
2. Descriptive of treating something holy or important with no respect: Thomas, the archaeologist, was sacrilegiously condemning the slaughter of victims to gods as evidenced by the skeletons he discovered in the ancient ruins.
sacrilegiousness (s) (noun) (no plural)
Profaneness by committing a desecration or insult of something considered divine: The sacrilegiousness of the act of destroying the grave stones at the local cemetery angered many in the community.
sacrilegist (s) (noun), sacrilegists (pl)
Someone who violates or profanes anything that is dedicated to religious uses or functions: An insane sacrilegist went into a church one night and broke up the religious statues and poured sewerage all over the alter where the priests lead the congregations during the services to such a degree that the religious services could not take place until more than a week later after the mess was cleaned up.
sacristan (s) (noun), sacristans (pl)
An officer of a church or religious house who is in charge of religious objects and the proper arrangement of all of the elements needed for worship services: The sacristan of the church was a young man who was volunteering to serve his local church while he was attending the theological seminary.
sacristy (s) (noun), sacristies (pl)
1. A location in a church or religious building in which the vessels, clothing, etc. used for church services are kept: A member of a congregation always goes to his or her house of worship each weekend to be sure everything in the sacristy is clean and in order before the services begin.
2. Etymology: "a repository of sacred things" from about 1600, from Anglo-French sacrestie, from Middle Latin sacrista; which came from Latin sacer, "sacred".

Related "holy, sacred" word families: hagio-; hiero-; icono-; sanct-.