Definition of desecrate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdɛsɪkreɪt/


[with object]
1Treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect: more than 300 graves were desecrated
More example sentences
  • A multi-million dollar gold mine with an estimated yield of $1.2 billion threatens to desecrate a sacred site of the Wiradjuri people.
  • They've ruined our economy, apparently seized our oil and desecrated our sacred sites and our museums.
  • When someone breaks a circle or desecrates sacred space it is causing disharmony.
violate, profane, treat sacrilegiously, treat with disrespect;
pollute, contaminate, infect, befoul;
defile, debase, degrade, dishonour, blaspheme against;
vandalize, damage, destroy, deface
1.1Spoil (something which is valued or respected): many lanes are desecrated with yellow lines
More example sentences
  • Were the images destroyed, desecrated or mutilated because they were potent or impotent?
  • There's plenty of narcissism triggers in his background - the highly respected, distant father, whose values he gleefully desecrates even as he treats him with an almost somber respect.
  • No wonder then that there is panic about this deluge of pornography that is desecrating culture and family values.



Pronunciation: /ˈdɛsɪkreɪtə/
Example sentences
  • Yet in many ways he remains an outlier and an oddity on the cultural scene, a cult figure with plenty of worshippers and plenty of desecrators.
  • Until then, we must depend on the statue desecrators to remind the nation about choices and consequences.
  • I'm sure the town's force could narrow down the possible desecrators to a similar number of miscreants.


Late 17th century: from de- (expressing reversal) + a shortened form of consecrate.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dese|crate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.