• synonyms


[sak-ruh-lij-uh s, -lee-juh s]
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  1. pertaining to or involving sacrilege: sacrilegious practices.
  2. guilty of sacrilege: a sacrilegious person.
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Origin of sacrilegious

1400–50; late Middle English sacrilegiose; see sacrilege, -ous
Related formssac·ri·le·gious·ly, adverbsac·ri·le·gious·ness, nounnon·sac·ri·le·gious, adjectivenon·sac·ri·le·gious·ly, adverbnon·sac·ri·le·gious·ness, nounpseu·do·sac·ri·le·gious, adjectivepseu·do·sac·ri·le·gious·ly, adverbun·sac·ri·le·gious, adjectiveun·sac·ri·le·gious·ly, adverbun·sac·ri·le·gious·ness, noun
Can be confusedirreligious sacrilegious unreligiousreligious sacrilegious sacrosanct

Pronunciation note

The almost universal pronunciation of sacrilegious as [sak-ruh-lij-uh s] /ˌsæk rəˈlɪdʒ əs/ is the result of folk etymology—modifying the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word so that it conforms to a more familiar one—in this case religious. Etymologically, sacrilegious has no direct relationship to religious. The historical pronunciation [sak-ruh-lee-juh s] /ˌsæk rəˈli dʒəs/ occurs in American English, though not in British English, and criticism of the newer pronunciation has almost disappeared.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sacrilegious

blasphemous, sinful, obscene, indecent, atheistic, dirty, filthy, foul, godless, heathen, impious, infidel, irreligious, irreverent, pagan, ungodly, unhallowed, unholy

Examples from the Web for sacrilegious

Contemporary Examples of sacrilegious

Historical Examples of sacrilegious

British Dictionary definitions for sacrilegious


  1. of, relating to, or involving sacrilege; impious
  2. guilty of sacrilege
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Derived Formssacrilegiously, adverbsacrilegiousness, noun
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 sacrilegious


mid-15c., from Latin sacrilegiosum, from sacrilegium (see sacrilege). As a noun, "one who commits a sacrilege," early 14c. Related: Sacrilegiously; sacrilegiousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper