1. Bot. (a) A name of several kinds of water lilies; as Nelumbium speciosum, used in religious ceremonies, anciently in Egypt, and to this day in Asia; Nelumbium luteum, the American lotus; and Nymphæa Lotus and Nymphæa cærulea, the respectively white-flowered and blue-flowered lotus of modern Egypt, which, with Nelumbium speciosum, are figured on its ancient monuments. (b) The lotus of the lotuseaters, probably a tree found in Northern Africa, Sicily, Portugal, and Spain (Zizyphus Lotus), the fruit of which is mildly sweet. It was fabled by the ancients to make strangers who ate of it forget their native country, or lose all desire to return to it. (c) The lote, or nettle tree. See Lote. (d) A genus (Lotus) of leguminous plants much resembling clover. [Written also lotos.]
European lotus, a small tree (Diospyros Lotus) of Southern Europe and Asia; also, its rather large bluish black berry, which is called also the date plum.
2. Arch. An ornament much used in Egyptian architecture, generally asserted to have been suggested by the Egyptian water lily.
1. Set apart by solemn religious ceremony; especially, in a good sense, made holy; set apart to religious use; consecrated; not profane or common; as, a sacred place; a sacred day; sacred service.
2. Relating to religion, or to the services of religion; not secular; religious; as, sacred history.
Smit with the love of sacred song. --Milton.
3. Designated or exalted by a divine sanction; possessing the highest title to obedience, honor, reverence, or veneration; entitled to extreme reverence; venerable.
Such neighbor nearness to our sacred [royal] blood
Should nothing privilege him. --Shak.
Poet and saint to thee alone were given,
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven. --Cowley.
4. Hence, not to be profaned or violated; inviolable.
Secrets of marriage still are sacred held. --Dryden.
5. Consecrated; dedicated; devoted; -- with to.
A temple, sacred to the queen of love. --Dryden.
6. Solemnly devoted, in a bad sense, as to evil, vengeance, curse, or the like; accursed; baleful. [Archaic]
But, to destruction sacred and devote. --Milton.
Society of the Sacred Heart R.C. Ch., a religious order of women, founded in France in 1800, and approved in 1826. It was introduced into America in 1817. The members of the order devote themselves to the higher branches of female education.
Sacred baboon. Zool. See Hamadryas.
Sacred bean Bot., a seed of the Oriental lotus (Nelumbo speciosa or Nelumbium speciosum), a plant resembling a water lily; also, the plant itself. See Lotus.
Sacred beetle Zool. See Scarab.
Sacred canon. See Canon, n., 3.
Sacred fish Zool., any one of numerous species of fresh-water African fishes of the family Mormyridae. Several large species inhabit the Nile and were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians; especially Mormyrus oxyrhynchus.
Sacred ibis. See Ibis.
Sacred monkey. Zool. (a) Any Asiatic monkey of the genus Semnopithecus, regarded as sacred by the Hindoos; especially, the entellus. See Entellus. (b) The sacred baboon. See Hamadryas. (c) The bhunder, or rhesus monkey.
Sacred place Civil Law, the place where a deceased person is buried.
Syn: -- Holy; divine; hallowed; consecrated; dedicated; devoted; religious; venerable; reverend.
-- Sa*cred*ly adv. -- Sa*cred*ness, n.
E·gyp·tian a. Pertaining to Egypt, in Africa.
Egyptian bean. Bot. (a) The beanlike fruit of an aquatic plant (Nelumbium speciosum), somewhat resembling the water lily. (b) See under Bean, 1.
Egyptian cross. See Illust. (No. 6) of Cross.
Egyptian thorn Bot., a medium-sized tree (Acacia vera). It is one of the chief sources of the best gum arabic.