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blasphemy

[blas-fuh-mee] /ˈblæs fə mi/
noun, plural blasphemies.
1.
impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
2.
Judaism.
  1. an act of cursing or reviling God.
  2. pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in the original, now forbidden manner instead of using a substitute pronunciation such as Adonai.
3.
Theology. the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.
4.
irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.:
He uttered blasphemies against life itself.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English blasphemie < Late Latin blasphēmia < Greek. See blasphemous, -y3
Related forms
nonblasphemy, noun, plural nonblasphemies.
Synonyms
1. profanity, cursing, swearing; sacrilege, impiety.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for blasphemy
  • Some would call this wit, others blasphemy.
  • For superstitious sailors, having a woman on a boat at all is just plain dangerous, but a woman skipper is viewed as blasphemy.
  • Take your lies and blasphemy elsewhere.
  • There are things you can joke about and things that constitute blasphemy.
  • Protests over “blasphemy” in the arts are not new.
  • Allowing students to actively participate in choosing the requirements of a course or the topics covered was blasphemy.
  • It was literally unspeakable in our family, belonging in the realm of blasphemy.
  • Nobody knows how to obey this commandment, or how to avoid blasphemy or profanity.
  • Transfusion was regarded as a form of blasphemy, to be avoided at all costs.
  • Laws prohibit blasphemy, apostasy, and proselytizing.
British Dictionary definitions for blasphemy

blasphemy

/ˈblæsfɪmɪ/
noun (pl) -mies
1.
blasphemous behaviour or language
2.
(law) Also called blasphemous libel. the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blasphemy
n.

early 13c., from Old French blasfemie "blasphemy," from Late Latin blasphemia, from Greek blasphemia "a speaking ill, impious speech, slander," from blasphemein "to speak evil of." Second element is pheme "utterance" (see fame); first element uncertain, perhaps related to blaptikos "hurtful," though blax "slack (in body and mind), stupid" also has been suggested.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blasphemy in the Bible

In the sense of speaking evil of God this word is found in Ps. 74:18; Isa. 52:5; Rom. 2:24; Rev. 13:1, 6; 16:9, 11, 21. It denotes also any kind of calumny, or evil-speaking, or abuse (1 Kings 21:10; Acts 13:45; 18:6, etc.). Our Lord was accused of blasphemy when he claimed to be the Son of God (Matt. 26:65; comp. Matt. 9:3; Mark 2:7). They who deny his Messiahship blaspheme Jesus (Luke 22:65; John 10:36). Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29; Luke 12:10) is regarded by some as a continued and obstinate rejection of the gospel, and hence is an unpardonable sin, simply because as long as a sinner remains in unbelief he voluntarily excludes himself from pardon. Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit's agency.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for blasphemy

irreverence toward a deity or deities and, by extension, the use of profanity.

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