Friday, 10 August 2012

Entry: sacrosanct (adj.)

In context: "The United States: a community of sacred individuals which revers the sacredness of the individual choice.  The individual's right to pursue his own vision of the best ratio of pleasure to pain: utterly sacrosanct.  Defended with teeth and bared claws all through our history."

Definition: Of persons and things, esp. obligations, laws, etc.: Secured by a religious sanction from violation, infringement, or encroachment; inviolable, sacred.

Other: Not so uncommon, but a great word.  Wonderful etymology too:

Latin sacrōsanctus, properly two words, sacrō ablative of sacrum sacred rite (neuter of sacer sacred) and sanctus past participle of sancīre to render holy or inviolable. Compare French sacrosaint, earlier -sainct (whence some 17th cent. English forms), Spanish sacrosanto, Portuguese sacrossanto, Italian sacro-, sagrosanto.

I also like, for whatever reason(s), the following usage:

1880   World 16 June,   When the persons of hares and rabbits have ceased to be sacrosanct, what guarantee of inviolability is there for the grouse?

SNOOT score: 3
Page: 424

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

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