Definition of golden calf in English:

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golden calf


1(In the Bible) an image of gold in the shape of a calf, made by Aaron in response to the Israelites‘ plea for a god while they awaited Moses’ return from Mount Sinai, where he was receiving the Ten Commandments (Exod. 32).
Example sentences
  • While Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days receiving the laws for Israel, the Israelites persuaded Aaron to make a golden calf, and they worshipped it.
  • In despair, the people turned to Aaron to build them a golden calf.
  • On their journey to the promised land, Aaron and the children of Israel craft a golden calf and worship it, crediting it with their rescue from Egypt.
1.1An unworthy or inappropriate object of worship, typically wealth: we were led astray by the seductions of the golden calf
More example sentences
  • Listen: they want us to feel impotent, to worship the golden calf of commercialism, dazzled and opiated by its pale buzzing glow.
  • As one trained in the biological sciences, I find the willingness of theologians to bow down to the modern golden calf of ‘science’ somewhat perplexing.
  • As Sartre admitted in his eulogy, ‘He reaffirmed the existence of moral fact within the heart of our era against the Machiavellians, against the golden calf of realism.’

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