sacred cow

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - sacred cow

"sacred cow"

an idea, belief or opinion that is supposedly not to be criticized, questioned, challenged or changed


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - sacred cow

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: I am going to suggest we change the order entry system to improve efficiency.

Colleague 2: I wouldn't if I were you.

Colleague 1: Why not?

Colleague 2: The order entry system is the boss's sacred cow. He invented it and guards it with his life. Any suggestion of change would meet with the boss's ire. The boss feels that the system is perfectly fine the way it is. Period.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - sacred cow

A couple are talking ...

Husband: What do you mean, our son doesn't want to go to college? Five generations of the Smiths have gone to college.

Wife: I know that going to college is a bit of a sacred cow in your family but maybe college is just not right for Johnny. He has always been extremely interested in mechanics. Do you remember that he rebuilt his first engine at the age of twelve? Maybe a technical school would be a better choice.

Husband: Maybe, but still, the idea of Johnny not going to college is too much for me to even think about right now.

Test Your Understanding  

sacred cow - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   419   click for frequency by country

sacred cow - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for sacred cow.

sacred cow - Examples:

1)  When some brave men began to speak out against some brethren's "sacred cow," that's when the fur began to fly.

2)  Meat may be a sacred cow, but attitudes can change. And they already are.

3)  Even in times of peace, the military is the sacred cow of conservative policies.

4)  ... chew you out if you suggest that something may be wrong with their personal sacred cow

5)  Why is war spending such a sacred cow? Wouldn't our soldiers be better served by being home?

6)  Given that in the United States, democracy is seen as a sacred cow, this is bound to be a provocative stance.

7)  ... if you're right, all that matters is that you are attacking the sacred cow of religion and that's not allowed.

8)  ... lawmakers are persuaded that the UCMJ should be a living document, not a sacred cow.

9)  Romney knows damn well that every tax credit is a sacred cow defended by an army of lobbyists. 

10)  The blind adherence to this sacred cow of an earlier era is inexplicable to the realities of changed conditions.

11)  "Israeli security" is the sacred cow of the Israeli street and ruling establishment.

12)  ... to look at "the beginning, middle, and end" as the sacred cow of storytelling. And for sure, this has been the predominant narrative framework in ...

13)  Apparently, anybody who openly challenges Dr. Svalgaard's Sacred Cow and last ditch at obfuscation is liable to receive his wrath.

14)  Why is this bloated, ineffective machine always the sacred cow, when all evidence reminds us it doesn't deserve the level of hero-worship it receives.

15)  And why does nobody dare mention the sacred cow of the military industrial complex?

16)  Not only did this Franco-Ontarian take on every sacred cow of Quebec nationalism, he did it in an outrageous and extremely witty manner.

17)  Those daring to open the debate against the sacred cow of animal research and the supposed human health gleaned from it will get no thanks ...

18)  The monolithic dominance of the NHS and its position as the sacred cow of British politics leaves few avenues for discrete campaigns in the field of healthcare.

19)  But maybe making femininity a sacred cow defeats the purpose?

20)  The figurative use of the term 'sacred cow', to refer to a project or process that is immune from tampering, ...