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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — sacrosanct

Good afternoon, Netizens...

March 19, 2013

Word of the Day

  • sacrosanct
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SAK-roh-sankt\


: most sacred or holy : inviolable
: treated as if holy : immune from criticism or violation

Our family traditions may seem silly to outsiders, but to us they are sacrosanct.

"'Is college a lousy investment?' This was the question posed in a Newsweek cover story in the fall, a blunt challenge to America’s long-standing, nearly sacrosanct belief in the value of a college education." — From an article by Bob King in Business Lexington (Kentucky), February 14, 2013


That which is sacrosanct is doubly sacred: the two Latin components underlying the word, "sacro" and "sanctus," were combined long ago to form a phrase meaning "hallowed by a sacred rite." "Sacro" means "by a sacred rite" and comes from "sacrum," a Latin noun that lives on in English anatomy as the name for our pelvic vertebrae—a shortening of "os sacrum," which literally means "holy bone." "Sanctus" means "sacred" and gave us "saint" and obvious words like "sanctimony," "sanctify," a

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.