Etymology
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veneration (n.)
early 15c., from Old French veneracion, from Latin venerationem (nominative veneratio) "reverence, profoundest respect," noun of action from past participle stem of venerari "to worship, revere," from venus (genitive veneris) "beauty, love, desire" (from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for").
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venerate (v.)
1620s, back-formation from veneration, or else from Latin veneratus, past participle of venerari "to reverence, worship," from venus (genitive veneris) "beauty, love, desire" (from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for"). Related: Venerated; venerating.
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irreverent (adj.)
"deficient in veneration or respect," mid-15c., from Old French irreverent or directly from Latin irreverentem "disrespectful, irreverent" (see irreverence). Related: Irreverently (early 15c.); irreverential. Irreverend (late 15c.) means "not worthy of respect or veneration."
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yoni (n.)
1799, from Sanskrit, "female sexual principle as an object of veneration," literally "vulva, womb."
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mystique (n.)

1891, "atmosphere of mystery and veneration," from French mystique "a mystic; mystical," from Latin mysticus (see mystic (adj.)).

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juju (n.1)
object of religious veneration among West Africans, 1860, supposedly ultimately from French joujou "toy, plaything."
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Mariolatry (n.)

"worship of the Virgin Mary," usually implying idolatrous or improper veneration, 1610s, from Mary + -latry "worship of," with connective element -o-. Related: Mariolater; Mariolatrous.

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revere (v.)

"regard with deep respect and veneration," 1660s, from French révérer, from Latin revereri "revere, fear," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + vereri "stand in awe of, fear, respect" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for"). Reverence was the earlier form of the verb. Related: Revered; revering.

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awe (n.)

c. 1300, aue, "fear, terror, great reverence," earlier aghe, c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source, such as Old Norse agi "fright;" from Proto-Germanic *agiz- (source also of Old English ege "fear," Old High German agiso "fright, terror," Gothic agis "fear, anguish"), from PIE *agh-es- (source also of Greek akhos "pain, grief"), from root *agh- (1) "to be depressed, be afraid" (see ail). Current sense of "dread mixed with admiration or veneration" is due to biblical use with reference to the Supreme Being. To stand in awe (early 15c.) originally was simply to stand awe. Awe-inspiring is recorded from 1814.

Al engelond of him stod awe.
["The Lay of Havelok the Dane," c. 1300]
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sacred (adj.)

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.

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