- characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
- not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular (opposed to sacred).
- unholy; heathen; pagan: profane rites.
- not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons.
- common or vulgar.
- to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.
- to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of: to profane a shrine.
Origin of profane
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for profane
His novel The Last Magazine, published posthumously this month, is just like him: blistering, fun, insightful, and profane.Michael Hastings' Hunger for Life
June 14, 2014
Charming, profane, alcoholic television anchorman becomes local hero and changes the news business.Detroit’s Real-Life Ron Burgundy
December 31, 2013
From the divine to the profane, what we mean when we say that potent word.What is a Genius?
November 9, 2013
But we were, of course, mostly giggling at the nom de sext “Carlos Danger” and his profane sexual demands.The Absurd Media Response to Steve Cohen’s Non-Scandal
July 25, 2013
It was, as Woodward remembers, pure Bradlee—brief, profane, and entirely correct.7 Scoops From New Bio of Ben Bradlee, “Yours in Truth”
May 7, 2012
It is not profane if I now say, 'with a great price obtained I this freedom.'The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
But he did not profane that scene by the mockery of his art.The Prophetic Pictures (From "Twice Told Tales")
How strikingly different is the course of profane and sacred history!Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
I worshipped the divinity, even while I attempted to profane the altar.Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
He would not have it supposed that only the profane or grossly wicked were in danger from the law. 'Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
- having or indicating contempt, irreverence, or disrespect for a divinity or something sacred
- not designed or used for religious purposes; secular
- not initiated into the inner mysteries or sacred rites
- vulgar, coarse, or blasphemousprofane language
- to treat or use (something sacred) with irreverence
- to put to an unworthy or improper use
Word Origin and History for profane
late 14c., from Old French profaner, prophaner (13c.) and directly from Latin profanare "to desecrate, render unholy, violate," from profanus "unholy, not consecrated" (see profane (adj.)). Related: Profaned; profaning.
mid-15c., "un-ecclesiastical, secular," from Old French profane (12c.) and directly from Latin profanus "unholy, not consecrated," according to Barnhart from pro fano "not admitted into the temple (with the initiates)," literally "out in front of the temple," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + fano, ablative of fanum "temple" (see feast (n.)). Sense of "unholy, polluted" is recorded from c.1500. Related: Profanely.