desecrate

verb
des·​e·​crate | \ ˈde-si-ˌkrāt How to pronounce desecrate (audio) \
desecrated; desecrating

Definition of desecrate

transitive verb

1 : to violate the sanctity of : profane desecrate a shrine a cemetery desecrated by vandals
2 : to treat disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously … the kind of shore development … that has desecrated so many waterfronts …— John Fischer

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Other Words from desecrate

desecrater or desecrator \ ˈde-​si-​ˌkrā-​tər How to pronounce desecrator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for desecrate

Synonyms

defile, profane, violate

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Examples of desecrate in a Sentence

The vandals were accused of desecrating graves. vandals desecrated the cemetery last night by covering the tombstones with graffiti

Recent Examples on the Web

The lawsuit says the construction of the Wetumpka casino desecrated a site called Hickory Ground, the last tribal capital for the Muskogee Nation before its people were forced to leave their homeland on the Trail of Tears in the early 1830s. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al.com, "Muscogee Nation renews lawsuit against Poarch Creeks over Alabama casino," 5 June 2019 In April, after Mr. Paludan again desecrated a Quran, protests against him erupted into widespread violence in Copenhagen, with the police making more than 20 arrests. Martin Selsoe Sorensen, New York Times, "Denmark Election Is Fueled by Anger on Climate and Immigration," 4 June 2019 Robb's body was desecrated by the Freys after the Red Wedding. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "There's a Crazy Theory Explaining Why Arya Stark Was Running in the Game of Thrones Season 8 Trailer," 8 Mar. 2019 Since then a religious divide has grown, with the rise of Buddhist nationalist groups who accuse minority Muslims of stealing from Buddhist temples or desecrating them, or forcing people to convert to Islam. Washington Post, "Calm returning to Muslim neighborhoods in Sri Lanka," 9 Mar. 2018 Some worry the subway could interrupt prayers and desecrate holy ground, fearing that if nonmembers or menstruating women pass below while riding on it, the sanctity of the temple will be destroyed. Corinne Abrams, WSJ, "‘You Have to Actually Cut Open Mumbai’s Belly’—Inside One of the World’s Most Audacious Transit Projects," 6 Jan. 2019 Some of those graves were plundered centuries ago, largely by enemy tribes seeking to stake a claim on the territory by desecrating the Scythians’ burial sites. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads," 26 Dec. 2018 Synagogues torched, cemeteries desecrated, and Jewish institutions vandalized or destroyed. Brian Eads, Newsweek, "Are the French Anti-Semitic?," 6 Feb. 2014 Patriotic Dutch architects refuse to desecrate a historic moat. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Moses Bridge: The Netherlands' Bridge Under Troubled Water," 6 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desecrate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of desecrate

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for desecrate

de- + -secrate (as in consecrate)

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Statistics for desecrate

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for desecrate

The first known use of desecrate was in 1675

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More Definitions for desecrate

desecrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of desecrate

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

desecrate

verb
des·​e·​crate | \ ˈde-si-ˌkrāt How to pronounce desecrate (audio) \
desecrated; desecrating

Kids Definition of desecrate

: to treat a sacred place or sacred object shamefully or with great disrespect

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Comments on desecrate

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