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profane

[pruh-feyn, proh-] /prəˈfeɪn, proʊ-/
adjective
1.
characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
2.
not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular (opposed to sacred).
3.
unholy; heathen; pagan:
profane rites.
4.
not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons.
5.
common or vulgar.
verb (used with object), profaned, profaning.
6.
to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.
7.
to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of:
to profane a shrine.
Origin of profane
1350-1400
1350-1400; (adj.) < Latin profānus literally, before (outside of) the temple; replacing Middle English prophane < Medieval Latin prophānus desecrated (see pro-1, fane); (v.) < Latin profānāre, derivative of profānus; replacing Middle English prophanen < Medieval Latin prophānāre to desecrate
Related forms
profanely, adverb
profaneness, noun
profaner, noun
half-profane, adjective
nonprofane, adjective
nonprofanely, adverb
nonprofaneness, noun
semiprofane, adjective
semiprofanely, adverb
semiprofaneness, noun
unprofane, adjective
unprofanely, adverb
unprofaneness, noun
unprofaned, adjective
Can be confused
Synonyms
1. blasphemous, sacrilegious, impious, ungodly. 2. temporal. 3. unhallowed. 5. low, mean, base. 7. desecrate.
Antonyms
1. sacred. 2. spiritual. 3. holy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for profaner
Historical Examples
  • If Religion begins to fail, we must employ the profaner word.

    Rienzi Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • It never stepped into the glare, the contention of profaner air.

    Saxe Holm's Stories Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Picton expressed his admiration in stronger and profaner language.

    Acadia Frederic S. Cozzens
  • The Confraternity was not itself the author or performer of the profaner kind of dramatic performance.

  • Only that he was a hateful heretic, a profaner of sanctuaries.

  • They repeat the compliments they hear, and burn incense in the virgins bower at hours when the profaner sex may not enter.

    Pink and White Tyranny Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • It was these profaner images that inflamed Phædra and Pasiphae.

  • Her sainthood was so accomplished, her union with heaven so complete, that she could afford herself these profaner sympathies.

    The Helpmate May Sinclair
  • Together they search for the profaner of the sacred spot at a market.

  • At that moment he appeared to himself in the light of a profaner, although he was obeying generous and humane instincts.

    Cosmopolis, Complete Paul Bourget
British Dictionary definitions for profaner

profane

/prəˈfeɪn/
adjective
1.
having or indicating contempt, irreverence, or disrespect for a divinity or something sacred
2.
not designed or used for religious purposes; secular
3.
not initiated into the inner mysteries or sacred rites
4.
vulgar, coarse, or blasphemous: profane language
verb (transitive)
5.
to treat or use (something sacred) with irreverence
6.
to put to an unworthy or improper use
Derived Forms
profanation (ˌprɒfəˈneɪʃən) noun
profanatory (prəˈfænətərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
profanely, adverb
profaneness, noun
profaner, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin profānus outside the temple, from pro-1 + fānum temple
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 profaner

profane

v.

late 14c., from Old French profaner, prophaner (13c.) and directly from Latin profanare "to desecrate, render unholy, violate," from profanus "unholy, not consecrated" (see profane (adj.)). Related: Profaned; profaning.

adj.

mid-15c., "un-ecclesiastical, secular," from Old French profane (12c.) and directly from Latin profanus "unholy, not consecrated," according to Barnhart from pro fano "not admitted into the temple (with the initiates)," literally "out in front of the temple," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + fano, ablative of fanum "temple" (see feast (n.)). Sense of "unholy, polluted" is recorded from c.1500. Related: Profanely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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