Difference Wiki

Holy vs. Sacred: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 18, 2023
"Holy" refers to something that is divine or connected to a deity, while "Sacred" is broader, signifying something that is set apart for veneration or religious purposes.

Key Differences

The term "Holy" usually indicates something that is specifically connected to God or a deity. It often bears a sense of being divine, morally pure, or untouchable. On the other hand, "Sacred" is more general, referring to anything set apart for religious, spiritual, or veneration purposes, and it is not always directly linked to a deity.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
Both "Holy" and "Sacred" can describe places, objects, people, or even time. However, a holy place is usually directly associated with divine presence, such as a church, mosque, or temple. A sacred place, like a historical monument, may not be linked to a deity but is still revered for its significance.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
When it comes to language use, "Holy" is often found in religious texts and prayers to describe divine entities or things that belong to a divine entity. "Sacred" is more often used in a cultural or historical context, such as sacred traditions, which can include both religious and non-religious practices.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
While both terms are closely related and sometimes used interchangeably, "Holy" is more likely to evoke a sense of moral or spiritual purity. In contrast, "Sacred" tends to imply something that deserves respect or honor, whether it's morally pure or not.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Comparison Chart

Connection to Deity

Often direct
Can be indirect
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Scope

More specific
Broader
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Usage

Primarily religious
Cultural & religious
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Moral Implication

Implies purity
Not necessarily
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Context

Religious texts
Religious & historical
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023

Holy and Sacred Definitions

Holy

Morally pure or virtuous.
He led a holy life.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Sacred

Set apart for worship or veneration.
The sacred altar should not be touched.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Holy

Divine or pertaining to a deity.
The Holy Bible is a religious text.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Sacred

Untouchable, not to be violated.
The agreement between them was sacred.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Holy

Worthy of veneration or awe.
The priest is a holy man.
Janet White
Sep 18, 2023

Sacred

Religious, but not necessarily divine.
The sacred songs lifted everyone's spirits.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Holy

Used as an exclamation.
Holy smokes, that was amazing!
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Sacred

Regarded with reverence and respect.
The constitution is a sacred document.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Holy

Set apart for religious purposes.
Sunday is considered a holy day.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Sacred

Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Worthy of religious veneration
The sacred teachings of the Buddha.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Regarded with veneration or specified for a religious purpose
A holy book.
A holy place.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Made or declared holy
Sacred bread and wine.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Living or undertaken with highly moral or spiritual purpose; saintly
A holy person.
A holy way of life.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person
Sacred to the memory of her sister.
A private office sacred to the President.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Regarded as deserving special respect or reverence
The pursuit of peace is our holiest quest.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Worthy of respect; venerable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

(Informal) Used as an intensive
Raised holy hell over the mischief their children did.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Dedicated to a religious purpose or a god.
I'm planning to visit the holy city of Jerusalem this Christmas.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Characterized by solemn religious ceremony or religious use, especially, in a positive sense; consecrated, made holy.
A sacred place
A sacred day
Sacred service
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Revered in a religion.
To demonstrate that this is different from the following definition.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Religious; relating to religion, or to the services of religion; not secular
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Morally perfect or flawless, or nearly so.
My grandmother is a very holy woman.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Spiritual; concerned with metaphysics.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Separated or set apart from (something unto something or someone else).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Designated or exalted by a divine sanction; possessing the highest title to obedience, honor, reverence, or veneration; entitled to extreme reverence; venerable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Set apart or dedicated for a specific purpose, or for use by a single entity or person.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Not to be profaned or violated; inviolable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

(slang) Used as an intensifier in various interjections.
Holy cow, I can’t believe he actually lost the race!
Those children next door are holy terrors!
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

(followed by the preposition "to") Consecrated; dedicated; devoted
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

(slang) An expression of astonishment and awe.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

(archaic) Solemnly devoted, in a bad sense, as to evil, vengeance, curse, or the like; accursed; baleful.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

(archaic) A thing that is extremely holy; used almost exclusively in Holy of Holies.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Simple past tense and past participle of sacre
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Set apart to the service or worship of God; hallowed; sacred; reserved from profane or common use; holy vessels; a holy priesthood.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Spiritually whole or sound; of unimpaired innocence and virtue; free from sinful affections; pure in heart; godly; pious; irreproachable; guiltless; acceptable to God.
Now through her round of holy thoughtThe Church our annual steps has brought.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Relating to religion, or to the services of religion; not secular; religious; as, sacred history.
Smit with the love of sacred song.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

A sacred place of pilgrimage
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

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] bloodShould nothing privilege him.
Poet and saint to thee alone were given,The two most sacred names of earth and heaven.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Holy

Belonging to or derived from or associated with a divine power
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Hence, not to be profaned or violated; inviolable.
Secrets of marriage still are sacred held.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Consecrated; dedicated; devoted; - with to.
A temple, sacred to the queen of love.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Solemnly devoted, in a bad sense, as to evil, vengeance, curse, or the like; accursed; baleful.
But, to destruction sacred and devote.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Concerned with religion or religious purposes;
Sacred texts
Sacred rites
Sacred music
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Worthy of respect or dedication;
Saw motherhood as woman's sacred calling
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Made or declared or believed to be holy; devoted to a deity or some religious ceremony or use;
A consecrated chursh
The sacred mosque
Sacred elephants
Sacred bread and wine
Sanctified wine
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Worthy of religious veneration;
The sacred name of Jesus
Jerusalem's hallowed soil
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

(often followed by `to') devoted exclusively to a single use or purpose or person;
A fund sacred to charity
A morning hour sacred to study
A private office sacred to the President
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 30, 2022

Sacred

Sacred in a general or secular sense.
The library is a sacred place for knowledge
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

FAQs

Can something be both Holy and Sacred?

Yes, something can be both holy and sacred, like a religious text.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Can Sacred be non-religious?

Yes, sacred can refer to non-religious things that are highly revered, like a constitution.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

What does Holy mean?

Holy generally refers to something that is divine or connected to a deity.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

What does Sacred mean?

Sacred signifies something set apart for veneration, often for religious purposes.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Is Holy always religious?

Holy is primarily used in religious contexts but can sometimes be used more broadly.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Does Holy imply moral purity?

Often, holy carries an implication of moral or spiritual purity.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

Can a place be Holy?

Yes, places like churches or temples are often considered holy.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

Can people be Sacred?

People can be considered sacred if they hold a particular reverence or significance in a community.
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023

Is Holy used more in specific religions?

Holy is widely used across various religions to describe divine aspects or moral purity.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Can people be Holy?

Yes, individuals considered morally pure or close to divinity are often termed holy.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023

Can Holy and Sacred be used interchangeably?

While closely related, they are not always interchangeable due to their different connotations.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Is Sacred always morally pure?

No, sacred signifies respect or veneration but not necessarily moral purity.
Sara Rehman
Sep 18, 2023

Can a place be Sacred?

Yes, both religious and non-religious places can be considered sacred.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 18, 2023

Can animals be Holy or Sacred?

Yes, in some cultures and religions, certain animals are considered either holy or sacred.
Harlon Moss
Sep 18, 2023

Is Sacred more cultural or religious?

Sacred can be both, but it's often used in broader cultural and historical contexts.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 18, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons