profane

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

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

profane

2 of 2

adjective

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
If Bartolo was against type, then so is Messina's turn as ruthless sports agent David Falk, who profanes his way through protecting his star client, Michael Jordan, when Nike courts the rising basketball star with his own line of shoes, the Air Jordans. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 5 Apr. 2023 At the risk of profaning a wonderful show, the second season is even better. John Anderson, wsj.com, 4 Apr. 2023
Adjective
Additionally, the fan was removed for obstructing the view of other fans and, according to the spokesperson, for using profane language, which violates the team’s code of conduct. Justice Delos Santos, The Mercury News, 3 July 2024 The magazine profile claims Fetterman routinely uses profane terms not normally heard in the Senate to describe members of the Republican party too. Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for profane 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'profane.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near profane

Cite this Entry

“Profane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profane. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

profane

1 of 2 verb
pro·​fane prō-ˈfān How to pronounce profane (audio)
prə-
profaned; profaning
1
: to treat (something sacred) with great disrespect
2
: to put to a wrong or vulgar use : debase
profanation
ˌpräf-ə-ˈnā-shən
ˌprō-fə-
noun
profanatory
prō-ˈfan-ə-ˌtōr-ē
-ˌtȯr-
adjective

profane

2 of 2 adjective
1
: not concerned with religion or religious purposes : secular, worldly
2
: showing no respect for holy things
profane language
profanely adverb

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