desecrate

verb
des·​e·​crate | \ ˈde-si-ˌkrāt \
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 \ -​ˌkrā-​tər \ 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

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 Stories say that during the Civil War, Federal troops took over the grounds during their occupation of the city and changed the dates on many of the headstones, while also looting and desecrating the place. David Duran, Country Living, "I Captured Something Disturbing on Camera at Savannah's Sorrel-Weed House," 11 Oct. 2016 Fort Lauderdale officers arrived just after Blanc put the hand cart into the dumpster, and found Martine Bernard’s desecrated remains inside the trash can, the report said. Linda Trischitta, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Killer shot father-in-law in back because he couldn't look in his eyes, cops say," 14 June 2018 When Islamic State captured the Iraqi town of Telskuf four years ago this week, terrorists desecrated the local Chaldean Catholic church and beheaded congregants on the altar. Mark Green, WSJ, "Help Is on the Way for Middle Eastern Christians," 13 June 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

4 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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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