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desecrate

[des-i-kreyt] /ˈdɛs ɪˌkreɪt/
verb (used with object), desecrated, desecrating.
1.
to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.
2.
to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.
3.
to treat with sacrilege; profane.
Origin
1665-1675
1665-75; de- + -secrate, modeled on consecrate
Related forms
desecrater, desecrator, noun
desecration, noun
nondesecration, noun
undesecrated, adjective
Synonyms
3. defile, violate, dishonor, pollute, outrage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for desecration
  • It was his first court offense: desecration of a synagogue.
  • The needle threatened the desecration of the stone, the penetration to the core.
  • Share your thoughts on the line between desecration and archaeological excavation.
  • Anything else is worse than extraneous, it is desecration.
  • It was an act of cultural desecration that shocked the world.
  • And yet it is so appropriate to the content and mood of the film that to change it would be a desecration.
  • Two years ago, such desecration of his glamour would have been hooted from the screen.
  • It shows, apparently, desecration of corpses by laughing service members.
  • The desecration of war dead is universally condemned, but these boys are not the devils.
  • Flag desecration was once included in that list as a form of conduct our society chose not to condone.
British Dictionary definitions for desecration

desecrate

/ˈdɛsɪˌkreɪt/
verb (transitive)
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
Derived Forms
desecrator, desecrater, noun
desecration, noun
Word Origin
C17: from de- + consecrate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for desecration
n.

1717, noun of action from desecrate (v.).

desecrate

v.

1670s, formed from de- "do the opposite of" (see de-) + stem of consecrate. Old French had dessacrer "to profane," and there is a similar formation in Italian; but Latin desecrare meant "to make holy," with de- in this case having a completive sense. Related: Desecrated; desecrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for desecration

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.

Learn more about desecration with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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