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 desecrator

Historical Examples of desecrator

  • But he was never seen, as a matter of fact, by any man but the desecrator of his tomb.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan

  • Only for this desecrator of the royal dead that morrow never came, as was discovered afterwards.

  • For a brief spell I would rule beside a man who is fit to be a king but who is a desecrator.


    George Barr McCutcheon

  • He fought the war of all which was old and primitive and lost in its own dreams against the alien and the desecrator.

    Duel on Syrtis

    Poul William Anderson

  • He tore the precious volume from its desecrator's hand, losing the pictured cover in the struggle.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for desecrator


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 desecrator



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