blasphemy

[ blas-fuh-mee ]
/ ˈblæs fə mi /

noun, plural blas·phe·mies.

impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
Judaism.
  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 formsnon·blas·phe·my, noun, plural non·blas·phe·mies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for blasphemy

blasphemy

/ (ˈblæsfɪmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

blasphemous behaviour or language
Also called: blasphemous libel law 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

Word Origin and History for blasphemy

blasphemy


n.

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