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profane

[pruh-feyn, proh-]
See more synonyms for profane on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
  2. not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular (opposed to sacred).
  3. unholy; heathen; pagan: profane rites.
  4. not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons.
  5. common or vulgar.
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verb (used with object), pro·faned, pro·fan·ing.
  1. to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.
  2. to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of: to profane a shrine.
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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 formspro·fane·ly, adverbpro·fane·ness, nounpro·fan·er, nounhalf-pro·fane, adjectivenon·pro·fane, adjectivenon·pro·fane·ly, adverbnon·pro·fane·ness, nounsem·i·pro·fane, adjectivesem·i·pro·fane·ly, adverbsem·i·pro·fane·ness, nounun·pro·fane, adjectiveun·pro·fane·ly, adverbun·pro·fane·ness, nounun·pro·faned, adjective
Can be confusedlewd obscene pornographic profanatory profane

Synonyms

See more synonyms for profane on Thesaurus.com
1. blasphemous, sacrilegious, impious, ungodly. 2. temporal. 3. unhallowed. 5. low, mean, base. 7. desecrate.

Antonyms

1. sacred. 2. spiritual. 3. holy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for profanely

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I tell you,” insisted Philippi profanely, “there are no rooms for you to sleep in up-stairs.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Behind him Trevison heard Corrigan raging impotently, profanely.

    'Firebrand' Trevison

    Charles Alden Seltzer

  • He could no more have said them than he could have profanely touched her.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

  • He has lost control of his temper, and now talks unfeelingly, brutally, profanely.

    The Death Shot

    Mayne Reid

  • It must be something dreadful, or my master would not be raving so profanely.

    The Belovd Vagabond

    William J. Locke


British Dictionary definitions for profanely

profane

adjective
  1. having or indicating contempt, irreverence, or disrespect for a divinity or something sacred
  2. not designed or used for religious purposes; secular
  3. not initiated into the inner mysteries or sacred rites
  4. vulgar, coarse, or blasphemousprofane language
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verb (tr)
  1. to treat or use (something sacred) with irreverence
  2. to put to an unworthy or improper use
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Derived Formsprofanation (ˌprɒfəˈneɪʃən), nounprofanatory (prəˈfænətərɪ, -trɪ), adjectiveprofanely, adverbprofaneness, nounprofaner, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for profanely

profane

v.

late 14c., from Old French profaner, prophaner (13c.) and directly from Latin profanare "to desecrate, render unholy, violate," from profanus "unholy, not consecrated" (see profane (adj.)). Related: Profaned; profaning.

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profane

adj.

mid-15c., "un-ecclesiastical, secular," from Old French profane (12c.) and directly from Latin profanus "unholy, not consecrated," according to Barnhart from pro fano "not admitted into the temple (with the initiates)," literally "out in front of the temple," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + fano, ablative of fanum "temple" (see feast (n.)). Sense of "unholy, polluted" is recorded from c.1500. Related: Profanely.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper