verb (used with object), des·e·crat·ed, des·e·crat·ing.

to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.
to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.
to treat with sacrilege; profane.

Origin of desecrate

1665–75; de- + -secrate, modeled on consecrate
Related formsdes·e·crat·er, des·e·cra·tor, noundes·e·cra·tion, nounnon·des·e·cra·tion, nounun·des·e·crat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for desecrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for desecrated

Contemporary Examples of desecrated

Historical Examples of desecrated

  • He has desecrated the divine colour, and he can no longer see it, though it is all around.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • And if that memory were desecrated now she would be as one wrecked in the storm of life.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • That one truth glared at you from every hideous corner of the desecrated room.

    Princess Zara

    Ross Beeckman

  • But the church is a mere fragment, mutilated, desecrated, shut up.

  • “She has desecrated the house of God,” he replied in a low tense voice.

    The Golden Face

    William Le Queux

British Dictionary definitions for desecrated


verb (tr)

to violate or outrage the sacred character of (an object or place) by destructive, blasphemous, or sacrilegious action
to remove the consecration from (a person, object, building, etc); deconsecrate
Derived Formsdesecrator or desecrater, noundesecration, noun

Word Origin for desecrate

C17: from de- + consecrate
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 desecrated



1670s, formed from de- "do the opposite of" (see de-) + stem of consecrate. Old French had dessacrer "to profane," and there is a similar formation in Italian; but Latin desecrare meant "to make holy," with de- in this case having a completive sense. Related: Desecrated; desecrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper