|1.||to violate or outrage the sacred character of (an object or place) by destructive, blasphemous, or sacrilegious action|
|2.||to remove the consecration from (a person, object, building, etc); deconsecrate|
|[C17: from |
originally, the theft of something sacred; as early as the 1st century BC, however, the Latin term for sacrilege came to mean any injury, violation, or profanation of sacred things. Legal punishment for such acts was already sanctioned, in the Levitical code of ancient Israel. The Israelites had extensive rules to safeguard what was holy or consecrated, violation of which (especially of temple laws) often led to mob violence.
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