[ des-i-kreyt ]
See synonyms for: desecratedesecrateddesecrating on

verb (used with object),des·e·crat·ed, des·e·crat·ing.
  1. to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.

  2. to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.

  1. to treat with sacrilege; profane.

Origin of desecrate

First recorded in 1665–75; de- + -secrate, modeled on consecrate

Other words for desecrate

Other words from desecrate

  • des·e·crat·er, des·e·cra·tor, noun
  • des·e·cra·tion [des-i-krey-shuhn] /dɛs ɪˈkreɪ ʃən/ noun
  • un·des·e·crat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use desecrate in a sentence

  • Better that a man be dead than cursed by a mother whose child has been desecrated.'

  • For many decades a large part of the cathedral was desecrated by a throng of hucksters, idlers, and fops.

    Milton's England | Lucia Ames Mead
  • How deplorable would it be if the temple could not be opened without the risk of its altar being desecrated!

  • He found the patronage of the Church the desecrated spoil and merchandise of princes; he reduced it to his own dominion.

British Dictionary definitions for desecrate


/ (ˈdɛsɪˌkreɪt) /

  1. to violate or outrage the sacred character of (an object or place) by destructive, blasphemous, or sacrilegious action

  2. to remove the consecration from (a person, object, building, etc); deconsecrate

Origin of desecrate

C17: from de- + consecrate

Derived forms of desecrate

  • desecrator or desecrater, noun
  • desecration, noun

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