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 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 But the one thing that he’s truly hammered home is that cry of dereliction, destruction, and profane (yet not faithless) rage. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020 The movie is excessive, profane and relentlessly angry, with some comedic detours that fall flat. New York Times, "9 Movies About Work to Watch This Labor Day," 29 Aug. 2019 ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune found thousands of cases where kids were improperly—and forcibly—restrained for reasons like being disrespectful, profane, or not following rules. John Keefe, Quartz, "10 powerful investigations for your year-end reading," 26 Dec. 2019 Gijón is a port town, working-class and occasionally profane, but open to the sea and new ideas. Chiara Goia, National Geographic, "Discover why this stunning region is Spain’s best-kept secret," 14 Dec. 2019 Later, in astonishingly profane and angry text messages, Brown bragged about the incident to her. Conor Orr, SI.com, "What We Know About the Sexual Assault Accusations Against Antonio Brown," 10 Sep. 2019 From this Dreher draws a secondary conclusion, which is that what is most precious must be protected from what is most profane. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Rod Dreher’s Race Problem," 25 Jan. 2018 Reddit has a long history as a bastion of profane content and harassment. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Reddit: Naming White House Whistleblower Is Fine. But Critics Disagree," 15 Nov. 2019 Former Packers safety Jermaine Whitehead could be in some hot water after a series of threatening and profane tweets directed mostly at fans after an ugly loss Sunday by his new team, the Cleveland Browns. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Packers safety Jermaine Whitehead goes on profane Twitter rampage after Browns loss," 3 Nov. 2019

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

Cite this Entry

“Profane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profane. Accessed 23 Feb. 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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