verb pro·fane \prō-ˈfān, prə-\

: to treat (a holy place or object) with great disrespect


Full Definition of PROFANE

transitive verb
:  to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt :  desecrate
:  to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use
pro·fan·er noun

Examples of PROFANE

  1. <the once-lovely landscape had been profaned by ugly factories>
  2. <profaned his considerable acting talents by appearing in some wretched movies>

Origin of PROFANE

Middle English prophanen, from Anglo-French prophaner, from Latin profanare, from profanus
First Known Use: 14th century



: having or showing disrespect for religious things

: relating to ordinary life : not religious or spiritual

Full Definition of PROFANE

:  not concerned with religion or religious purposes :  secular
:  not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled :  unsanctified
a :  serving to debase or defile what is holy :  irreverent
b :  obscene, vulgar
a :  not being among the initiated
b :  not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge
pro·fane·ly adverb
pro·fane·ness \-ˈfān-nəs\ noun

Examples of PROFANE

  1. <it was hard to juggle the requirements of church and our more profane duties>
  2. <offended by the profane language that her coworkers used so casually>

Origin of PROFANE

Middle English prophane, from Middle French, from Latin profanus, from pro- before + fanum temple — more at pro-, feast
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, avatar, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, koan, mantra


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