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

In the run-up to the 1929 riots, Arab leaders claimed (falsely) that the Jews intended to desecrate al-Aqsa. Douglas J. Feith, National Review, "The Hebron Riots of 1929: Consequences and Lessons," 27 Aug. 2019 Some Native Hawaiians say the project will desecrate sacred land. Washington Post, "The Latest: Native Hawaiian expresses support for telescope," 16 July 2019 Similar telescope projects have desecrated the mountain, and activists place no trust in promises to curtail development. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Lawsuit over Alamo burial grounds reflects wider ferment," 12 Sep. 2019 That followed another letter, published in July, in which Lam condemned those who desecrated a pro-China lawmaker’s parents’ graves as creatures who cannot be called human. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong police are now routinely insulting the city’s people as “cockroaches”," 10 Sep. 2019 Native Hawaiian protesters and other opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope say they are concerned that construction will desecrate and damage the mountain. Washington Post, "Hawaii protesters press on to stop telescope, face arrest," 17 July 2019 Native Hawaiian protesters and other opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope say they are concerned that construction will desecrate and damage the mountain. Time, "Hawaiian Elders Arrested at Telescope Protests," 18 July 2019 In 1989, Temple Emanu-El was desecrated with swastikas and hate speech, causing townwide outrage. Abigail Feldman, BostonGlobe.com, "Anti-Semitic fliers discovered at Marblehead synagogue," 15 July 2019 Beaumont police are searching for vandals who desecrated a local cemetery, causing damage to tombs and even dragging out a coffin. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Vandals desecrate Beaumont cemetery, damage casket and tombs," 15 July 2019

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

14 Oct 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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