profane

[ pruh-feyn, proh- ]
/ prəˈfeɪn, proʊ- /

adjective

verb (used with object), pro·faned, pro·fan·ing.

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

1350–1400; (adj.) < Latin profānus literally, before (outside of) the temple; replacing Middle English prophane < Medieval Latin prophānus desecrated (see pro-1, fane); (v.) < Latin profānāre, derivative of profānus; replacing Middle English prophanen < Medieval Latin prophānāre to desecrate

Related forms

Can be confused

lewd obscene pornographic profanatory profane
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for profane

British Dictionary definitions for profane

profane

/ (prəˈfeɪn) /

adjective

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

verb (tr)

to treat or use (something sacred) with irreverence
to put to an unworthy or improper use

Derived Forms

Word Origin for profane

C15: from Latin profānus outside the temple, from pro- 1 + fānum temple
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