• synonyms


verb (used with object), des·e·crat·ed, des·e·crat·ing.
  1. to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.
  2. to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.
  3. to treat with sacrilege; profane.
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Origin of desecrate

1665–75; de- + -secrate, modeled on consecrate
Related formsdes·e·crat·er, des·e·cra·tor, noundes·e·cra·tion, nounnon·des·e·cra·tion, nounun·des·e·crat·ed, adjective


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for undesecrated

Historical Examples

  • Did Athaliah leave the temple on Mount Moriah untouched and undesecrated?

    History of the Jews, Vol. I (of 6)

    Heinrich Graetz

  • But this little chapel had seemed to her to be all the more sacred because it had been undesecrated and forgotten.

  • Still the noble promontory thrusts itself boldly forward into the sea from the heart of an undesecrated wilderness.

    The Near East

    Robert Hichens

  • The old bookshelves remained untouched; the old books, in their musty brown calf bindings, were undesecrated by profaning hands.

    Vera Nevill

    Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

British Dictionary definitions for undesecrated


verb (tr)
  1. to violate or outrage the sacred character of (an object or place) by destructive, blasphemous, or sacrilegious action
  2. to remove the consecration from (a person, object, building, etc); deconsecrate
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Derived Formsdesecrator or desecrater, noundesecration, noun

Word Origin

C17: from de- + consecrate
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 undesecrated



1670s, formed from de- "do the opposite of" (see de-) + stem of consecrate. Old French had dessacrer "to profane," and there is a similar formation in Italian; but Latin desecrare meant "to make holy," with de- in this case having a completive sense. Related: Desecrated; desecrating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper