|1.||the misuse or desecration of anything regarded as sacred or as worthy of extreme respect: to play Mozart's music on a kazoo is sacrilege|
|2.||the act or an instance of taking anything sacred for secular use|
|[C13: from Old French sacrilège, from Latin sacrilegium, from sacrilegus temple-robber, from sacra sacred things + legere to take]|
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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