late 14c., "hallowed, consecrated, or made holy by association with divinity or divine things or by religious ceremony or sanction," past-participle adjective from a now-obsolete verb sacren "to make holy" (c. 1200), from Old French sacrer "consecrate, anoint, dedicate" (12c.) or directly from Latin sacrare "to make sacred, consecrate; hold sacred; immortalize; set apart, dedicate," from sacer (genitive sacri) "sacred, dedicated, holy, accursed." OED writes that, in sacred, "the original ppl. notion (as pronunciation indicates) disappeared from the use of the word, which is now nearly synonymous with L. sacer."
This is from Old Latin saceres, from PIE root *sak- "to sanctify." Buck groups it with Oscan sakrim, Umbrian sacra and calls it "a distinctive Italic group, without any clear outside connections." De Vaan has it from a PIE root *shnk- "to make sacred, sanctify," and finds cognates in Hittite šaklai "custom, rites," zankila "to fine, punish." Related: Sacredness. The Latin nasalized form is sancire "make sacred, confirm, ratify, ordain" (as in saint, sanction). An Old English word for "sacred" was godcund.
The meaning "of or pertaining to religion or divine things" (opposed to secular or profane) is by c. 1600. The transferred sense of "entitled to respect or reverence" is from 1550s. Sacred cow as an object of Hindu veneration is by 1793; its figurative sense of "one who or that which must not be criticized" is in use by 1910 in U.S. journalism, reflecting Western views of Hinduism. Sacred Heart "the heart of Jesus as an object of religious veneration" is by 1823, short for Sacred Heart of Jesus or Mary.
late 14c., obsecracioun, "prayer, earnest entreaty," especially "a prayer of supplication," from Latin obsecrationem (nominative obsecratio) "a beseeching, imploring, supplication, entreaty," noun of action from past-participle stem of obsecrare "to beseech, entreat" (on religious grounds), from ob "in front of, before" (see ob-) + sacrare "to make or declare sacred" (see sacred).
an English notion of a stereotypical French oath, 1869, from French sacré bleu, literally "holy blue," a euphemism for sacré Dieu (1768), "holy God." From Old French sacrer, from Latin sacrare "to make or declare sacred" (see sacred). Such things are never idiomatic. In an old French-language comic set in the U.S. Wild West, the angry cowboys say "Bloody Hell!"
late 14c., "cursing, act of laying under a curse," from Latin execrationem (nominative execratio) "malediction, curse," noun of action from past-participle stem of execrari "to hate, curse," from ex "out" (see ex-) + sacrare "to devote to holiness or to destruction, consecrate," from sacer "sacred" (see sacred). From 1560s as "an uttered curse."
"repository for sacred things," especially an apartment in a church or monastery in which sacred utensils and ceremonial vestments are kept, mid-15c., from Anglo-French sacrestie, from Medieval Latin sacrista, from Latin sacer "sacred" (see sacred). Vulgarly contracted as sextry. Earlier was sacrarie (late 14c.) from Old French sacrarie and directly from Latin sacrarium.
"officer charged with looking after the vessels, vestments, and valuables, of a church or religious house," early 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Medieval Latin sacristanus, from Latin sacrista, from sacer (genitive sacri) "sacred" (see sacred). Compare sexton, which is a corrupted doublet. Sometimes also sacrist.
"superlatively sacred or inviolable," c. 1600, from Latin sacrosanctus "inviolable, protected by religious sanction, consecrated with religious ceremonies," from sacro, ablative of sacrum "religious sanction, religious rite" (from neuter singular of sacer "sacred") + sanctus, past participle of sancire "make sacred" (for both, see sacred). Earlier in partially Englished form sacro-seint (c. 1500).
"to curse, imprecate evil upon," hence "to detest utterly, abominate," 1560s, from Latin execratus/exsecratus, past participle of execrari/exsecrari "to curse, utter a curse, take a solemn oath with imprecations; hate, abhor," from ex "out" (see ex-) + sacrare "to devote to" (see sacred). Hence, "to devote off or away; to curse." Compare consecrate. Related: Execrated; execrating.
compound bone at the base of the spine, 1753, from Late Latin os sacrum "sacred bone," from Latin sacrum, neuter of sacer "sacred" (see sacred). Said to be so called because the bone was the part of animals that was offered in sacrifices. The Late Latin phrase is a translation of Greek hieron osteon. Greek hieros also can mean "strong" (see ire), and some sources suggest the Latin is a mistranslation of Galen, who was calling it "the strong bone."