sac·​ri·​le·​gious ˌsa-krə-ˈli-jəs How to pronounce sacrilegious (audio)
-ˈlē- How to pronounce sacrilegious (audio)
: committing or characterized by sacrilege : having or showing a lack of proper respect for a sacred person, place, or object
sacrilegious acts
It is difficult for religiously committed persons to acknowledge that their sacred texts are prone to sacrilegious uses.Mary C. Boys
often used in an exaggerated way in contexts unrelated to religion
It would be sacrilegious to cut down such beautiful trees.
Chilling your red wines may seem sacrilegious to some, and downright odd to others.Tess Rose Lampert
sacrilegiously adverb
In the center of the rich red carpet was a black and gold Louis Quinze table, a lovely antique, now sacrilegiously desecrated with marks of glasses and the scars of cigar-stumps. Arthur Conan Doyle
sacrilegiousness noun
… these examples of … insensitivity to (if not sacrilegiousness or profanation of) the deeply held beliefs of some 200 million-plus Americans. Quin Hilyer

Examples of sacrilegious in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Google Nest founder Matt Rogers didn’t shy away from the commitment, venturing fully and completely into a realm many gearheads consider sacrilegious, all with the goal of producing zero tailpipe emissions. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 6 Mar. 2024 The car’s hot rod–style roof chop may seem sacrilegious to some, but the low-slung Lancia is based on an actual Carrera Panamericana racer that was also lowered in period. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 27 Jan. 2024 His was an age in which the prospect of Earth bereft of human occupancy was too abominable, too sacrilegious, to contemplate. Rebecca Giggs, The New York Review of Books, 30 Nov. 2023 For an outdoorsy explorer, this may sound sacrilegious. Mike Bezemek, Outside Online, 13 Apr. 2023 The priest rejected claims that religious AI was sacrilegious and described innovation in AI as spiritually compatible with religious values. Pauline Hope Cheong, The Conversation, 19 Sep. 2023 Barely an hour long, the latest insolent marvel from Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues reinforces his expectedly subversive and sacrilegious tendencies, always paired with a pointedly tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2023 Doing enough—and just enough—for the duration of a few kō doesn’t seem sacrilegious. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 26 July 2021 Muslim politicians, religious scholars and everyday people have condemned such depictions as a form of hate speech and view them as sacrilegious and insulting to Islam. Niniek Karmini, Star Tribune, 31 Oct. 2020

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

Word History

First Known Use

1582, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sacrilegious was in 1582


Dictionary Entries Near sacrilegious

Cite this Entry

“Sacrilegious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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