[ sak-ruh-lij ]
/ ˈsæk rə lɪdʒ /


the violation or profanation of anything sacred or held sacred.
an instance of this.
the stealing of anything consecrated to the service of God.

Origin of sacrilege

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French < Latin sacrilegium, equivalent to sacri- (combining form of sacrum holy place) + leg(ere) to steal, literally, gather + -ium -ium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sacrilege

British Dictionary definitions for sacrilege

/ (ˈsækrɪlɪdʒ) /


the misuse or desecration of anything regarded as sacred or as worthy of extreme respectto play Mozart's music on a kazoo is sacrilege
the act or an instance of taking anything sacred for secular use

Derived forms of sacrilege

sacrilegist (ˌsækrɪˈliːdʒɪst), noun

Word Origin for sacrilege

C13: from Old French sacrilège, from Latin sacrilegium, from sacrilegus temple-robber, from sacra sacred things + legere to take
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