profane

verb
pro·​fane | \ prō-ˈfān How to pronounce profane (audio) , prə- \
profaned; profaning

Definition of profane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate
2 : to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use

profane

adjective

Definition of profane (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : not concerned with religion or religious purposes : secular
2 : not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled : unsanctified
3a : serving to debase or defile what is holy : irreverent
4a : not being among the initiated
b : not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge

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Other Words from profane

Verb

profaner noun

Adjective

profanely adverb
profaneness \ prō-​ˈfān-​nəs How to pronounce profaneness (audio) , prə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for profane

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of profane in a Sentence

Verb the once-lovely landscape had been profaned by ugly factories profaned his considerable acting talents by appearing in some wretched movies Adjective it was hard to juggle the requirements of church and our more profane duties offended by the profane language that her coworkers used so casually
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb McCloskey exits the house 20 seconds later, and both videos show a heated, often profane back and forth between the couple and the protesters. Madeline Holcombe And Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "St. Louis homeowner who pointed weapon at protesters says he 'was a victim of a mob' and doesn't oppose Black Lives Matter," 1 July 2020 The following day, Pope Francis spoke out against violence toward women during his New Year’s Day homily in St. Peter’s Basilica, equating it to profaning God, according to the Associated Press. Josiah Bates, Time, "Pope Francis Regrets 'Bad Example' He Set After Angrily Slapping Away Hand of Female Worshiper," 1 Jan. 2020 By targeting a house of worship, rather than a private home or business, the attacker has committed a powerful symbolic transgression: profaning a space that is both sacred and communal. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "An assailant killed at least 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.," 27 Oct. 2018 And even in the Trump administration, the idea of profaning one of the president’s most precious assets in his relationship with the conservative movement and the GOP by putting a TV judge on the nation’s highest court is hair-raising. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Wanted to Make Fox News Pundit Pirro a Supreme Court Justice," 7 June 2018 There’s a way certain things—death, extreme poverty—are deemed so tragic that they cannot be profaned, they can only be spoken of reverently or seriously. Joe Fassler, The Atlantic, "Jenny Zhang: 'Tiny Stories' Are Vital to Literature," 13 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Henry VIII remains the poster boy for codpieces, those profane protuberances that drew eyes crotchward in the sixteenth century. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, "A Brief History of the Codpiece, the Personal Protection for Renaissance Equipment," 23 May 2020 Hill, 36, was named the most profane actor on the big screen, according to a new survey from Buzz Bingo that analyzed cursing in more than 3,500 movie scripts. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Jonah Hill says he's 'humbled' to beat Samuel L. Jackson as the most foul-mouthed actor," 18 May 2020 Tying the progression up with a profane confederation of vowels seemed like the sort of thing a solver might enjoy. New York Times, "Succeed at All of Life’s Endeavors," 12 May 2020 Both Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler and Kathie Reyer, the city administrator, said original video was removed and edited while also explaining their actions had one purpose: to protect the public from hearing vulgar and profane comments. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "After online meeting hacked by obscenities, Shenandoah leaders delete audio rant," 7 May 2020 He was temporarily dismissed from the program in 2017 for a profane social-media tirade against the coaching staff. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ late-round picks linked by toughness, strong chance to make roster," 27 Apr. 2020 Reddit’s profane, greedy traders are shaking up the stock market. Adam Blenford, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit Bulletin: Carney’s Adventure," 26 Feb. 2020 The question was answered in the negative by state Sen. Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), a strong advocate for employee rights who tweeted a profane message to Musk in reply to his tweetstorm. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Does Elon Musk need California more than California needs Elon Musk?," 11 May 2020 Other profane messages involving male genitalia, extended middle fingers, and messages criticizing the mayor’s response to the virus were also reported. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "New York City social distancing tip line flooded with angry, vulgar messages criticizing de Blasio's virus response," 21 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profane.' 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 profane

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for profane

Verb

Middle English prophanen, from Anglo-French prophaner, from Latin profanare, from profanus

Adjective

Middle English prophane, from Middle French, from Latin profanus, from pro- before + fanum temple — more at pro-, feast

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Time Traveler for profane

Time Traveler

The first known use of profane was in the 14th century

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Statistics for profane

Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Profane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profane. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for profane

profane

verb
How to pronounce profane (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of profane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

profane

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of profane (Entry 2 of 2)

formal
: having or showing disrespect for religious things
: relating to ordinary life : not religious or spiritual

profane

adjective
pro·​fane | \ prō-ˈfān How to pronounce profane (audio) \

Kids Definition of profane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: showing disrespect for God or holy things

profane

verb
profaned; profaning

Kids Definition of profane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to treat (something sacred) with great disrespect

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Comments on profane

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