verb (used with object), desecrated, desecrating.
to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.
to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.
to treat with sacrilege; profane.

1665–75; de- + -secrate, modeled on consecrate

desecrater, desecrator, noun
desecration, noun
nondesecration, noun
undesecrated, adjective

3. defile, violate, dishonor, pollute, outrage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
desecrate (ˈdɛsɪˌkreɪt)
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 de- + consecrate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1674, formed from de- "do the opposite of" + (con)secrate. O.Fr. had dessacrer "to profane," and there is a similar formation in It.; but L. desecrare meant "to make holy," with de- in this case having a completive sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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
Anything else is worse than extraneous, it is desecration.
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