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[blas-fuh-mee] /ˈblæs fə mi/
noun, plural blasphemies.
impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
  1. an act of cursing or reviling God.
  2. pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in the original, now forbidden manner instead of using a substitute pronunciation such as Adonai.
Theology. the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.
irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.:
He uttered blasphemies against life itself.
Origin of blasphemy
1175-1225; Middle English blasphemie < Late Latin blasphēmia < Greek. See blasphemous, -y3
Related forms
nonblasphemy, noun, plural nonblasphemies.
1. profanity, cursing, swearing; sacrilege, impiety. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blasphemy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet it were blasphemy to say that true love is other than immortal.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • It was blasphemy to think of her in such case, subjected to the degradation of these processes.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Comrade Ossipon met the shock of this blasphemy by an awful, vacant stare.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • It is not only nonsense, but blasphemy, to say that man has spoilt the country.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • It were blasphemy to call this riot the desire for progress for the masses.

    Blood and Iron John Hubert Greusel
British Dictionary definitions for blasphemy


noun (pl) -mies
blasphemous behaviour or language
(law) Also called blasphemous libel. the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blasphemy

early 13c., from Old French blasfemie "blasphemy," from Late Latin blasphemia, from Greek blasphemia "a speaking ill, impious speech, slander," from blasphemein "to speak evil of." Second element is pheme "utterance" (see fame); first element uncertain, perhaps related to blaptikos "hurtful," though blax "slack (in body and mind), stupid" also has been suggested.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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