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[prof-uh-ney-shuh n] /ˌprɒf əˈneɪ ʃən/
the act of profaning; desecration; defilement; debasement.
1545-55; < Late Latin profānātiōn- (stem of profānātiō) desecration, equivalent to Latin profānāt(us) (past participle of profānāre to profane) + -iōn- -ion; replacing prophanation < Middle French < Medieval Latin prophānātiō, for Late Latin profānātiō, as above
sacrilege, blasphemy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for profanation
  • Altogether it was a scene of disorder and profanation, which it is impossible to describe.
Word Origin and History for profanation

1550s, from Old French prophanation (15c., Modern French profanation) or directly from Late Latin profanationem (nominative profanatio), noun of action from past participle stem of profanare (see profane (adj.)).

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


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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