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

Other Words from desecrate

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

Synonyms for desecrate


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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 Opponents say the quarry would desecrate the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s most sacred site and wildlife habitat. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Apr. 2022 To think that 80 years later, Russian forces would strike the area of the Babyn Yar memorial site and desecrate the memories of the Jews who were murdered there, is sickening. Liora Rez, CNN, 2 Mar. 2022 The most meaningful divide in American politics is no longer between left and right but between those who uphold democracy and those who desecrate it. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 The golem became destructive, either rising upon his creator, killing others, continuing to grow uncontrollably or simply setting out to desecrate the Sabbath, and the rabbi was forced to destroy it. Roy Schwartz, CNN, 21 Dec. 2021 The plan to keep the site a secret is based on concerns about relic hunters and others who might desecrate a war grave, officials said. al, 23 Aug. 2021 Native activists said the plan would contaminate the peaks and desecrate the land held sacred by so many Indigenous peoples and upset the balance of life., 20 Aug. 2021 Joe Biden is the first president to desecrate not only the tenets of Friedman’s economic ideas, but the anti-democratic implications of his entire philosophy. Zachary D. Carter, The New Republic, 17 June 2021 Former Marine Corps reservist Yonathan Melaku is sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempting to desecrate graves at the cemetery. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 16 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for desecrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of desecrate was in 1675

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Statistics for desecrate

Last Updated

5 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Desecrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for desecrate


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

More from Merriam-Webster on desecrate

Nglish: Translation of desecrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of desecrate for Arabic Speakers


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