profane

[pruh-feyn, proh-]
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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.
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.

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 for profane

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Antonyms for profane

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 profaners

Historical Examples of profaners

  • In such equipage did these profaners advance towards the Convention.

    The French Revolution

    Thomas Carlyle

  • Neither is it pretended that they are lewd or intemperate persons, or profaners of churches.


British Dictionary definitions for profaners

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
verb (tr)
  1. to treat or use (something sacred) with irreverence
  2. to put to an unworthy or improper use
Derived Formsprofanation (ˌprɒfəˈneɪʃən), nounprofanatory (prəˈfænətərɪ, -trɪ), adjectiveprofanely, adverbprofaneness, nounprofaner, noun

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

Word Origin and History for profaners

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.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper