• IPA: /ˈdɛs.ɪ.kɹeɪ̯t/, /ˈdɛs.ə.kɹeɪ̯t/

desecrate (desecrates, present participle desecrating; past and past participle desecrated)

  1. (transitive) To profane or violate the sacredness or sanctity of something.
    • 1916 — James Whitcomb Riley, The Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley, [ Volume 10.]
      It's reform -- reform! You're going to 'turn over a new leaf,' and all that, and sign the pledge, and quit cigars, and go to work, and pay your debts, and gravitate back into Sunday-school, where you can make love to the preacher's daughter under the guise of religion, and desecrate the sanctity of the innermost pale of the church by confessions at Class of your 'thorough conversion'!
  2. (transitive) To remove the consecration from someone or something; to deconsecrate.
  3. (transitive) To change in an inappropriate and destructive way.
    • 1913 — William Alexander Lambeth and Warren H. Manning, [ Thomas Jefferson as an Architect and a Designer of Landscapes.]
      A subsequent owner has desecrated the main hall and robbed it of its grandeur by putting in a floor just beneath the circular windows in order to make an upper room over the hall.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Adjective


  1. (rare) Desecrated.
    • 1842, Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Myster of Marie Rogêt’:
      Here are the very nooks where the unwashed most abound—here are the temples most desecrate.

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