sacred cow


sacred cow
A term used to refer to an activity or practice considered immune from change or criticism. The expression derives from the respect given to the cow in Hinduism. It is often used by auditors, who talk of "slaughtering sacred cows" in the sense of challenging received wisdom and inefficient practices. The phrase is best avoided, however, as it is cliched and potentially offensive to Hindus.

Auditor's dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sacred cow — {n.} A person or thing that is never criticized, laughed at, or insulted even if it deserves such treatment. * /Motherhood is a sacred cow to most politicians./ * /The bold young governor had no respect for the state s sacred cows./ * /Television …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • sacred cow — {n.} A person or thing that is never criticized, laughed at, or insulted even if it deserves such treatment. * /Motherhood is a sacred cow to most politicians./ * /The bold young governor had no respect for the state s sacred cows./ * /Television …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • sacred cow — sacred cows N COUNT (disapproval) If you describe a belief, custom, or institution as a sacred cow, you disapprove of people treating it with too much respect and being afraid to criticize or question it. ...the sacred cow of monetarism …   English dictionary

  • sacred cow — Something that is a sacred cow is held in such respect that it cannot be criticised or attacked …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • sacred cow — ► NOUN ▪ an idea, custom, or institution held to be above criticism (with reference to the respect of Hindus for the cow as a sacred animal) …   English terms dictionary

  • sacred cow — n a belief, custom, system etc that is so important to some people that they will not let anyone criticize it ▪ In New York s show business scene, money, fame and power are sacred cows …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sacred cow — noun count something that many people think is too important to change, question, or criticize …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sacred cow — ☆ sacred cow n. any person or thing regarded as above criticism or attack …   English World dictionary

  • sacred cow —    The English idiom sacred cow was coined with ref erence to the veneration of cows that is common in India, but it reflects a degree of misunderstand ing. Hindus do venerate and respect cows, but they do not regularly worship them; nor do they… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Sacred cow — The term sacred cow has passed into the English language to mean an object or practice which is considered immune from criticism, especially unreasonably so. [ [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacred%20cow sacred cow Definitions from… …   Wikipedia

  • sacred cow — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms sacred cow : singular sacred cow plural sacred cows something that many people think is too important to change, question, or criticize …   English dictionary