Definition of desecrate in English:



  • 1Treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect.

    ‘more than 300 graves were desecrated’
    • ‘A multi-million dollar gold mine with an estimated yield of $1.2 billion threatens to desecrate a sacred site of the Wiradjuri people.’
    • ‘If we buried our dead in the sand, the wild animals would desecrate their memory and dishonor their body.’
    • ‘Well, it's hurtful to us that someone would desecrate her grave.’
    • ‘Yes, well that's to protect against intruders who want to desecrate this holy room.’
    • ‘A police spokesman said: ‘We are hoping that this offence will be detected and people will come forward with the name of the offender or offenders who have desecrated this grave.’’
    • ‘Then during the American Revolution, the British eliminated the meeting house's role as a public gathering place, desecrating the church by using it as a riding school.’
    • ‘But in relation to the new cemetery, I don't believe our youths would stoop so low as to desecrate the graves or vandalise the cemetery.’
    • ‘He was sickened when, just months later, vandals desecrated the memorial, built to commemorate villagers who fought in the First World War.’
    • ‘How dare you desecrate this holy ground with foolish intentions.’
    • ‘When someone breaks a circle or desecrates sacred space it is causing disharmony.’
    • ‘A distressed son is calling for greater security at a cemetery after three gravestones were desecrated by vandals.’
    • ‘About 20 headstones were desecrated at the Church cemetery between Monday, February 2, and Friday, February 6.’
    • ‘A two-minute silence was held and each member of the congregation was invited to lay flowers on those graves desecrated by the yobs.’
    • ‘Vandals have desecrated graves at a cemetery described as having some of the finest funerary art in the North of England.’
    • ‘A tombstone standing over a grave for over 100 years was desecrated and pieces of the headstone were scattered over the area.’
    • ‘Even its cemetery was desecrated, its 400 graves dug up.’
    • ‘They've ruined our economy, apparently seized our oil and desecrated our sacred sites and our museums.’
    • ‘Five months after a church was desecrated by vandals, defiant parishioners have rebuilt their place of worship.’
    • ‘Mindless vandals have desecrated the grave of a stillborn baby for the fourth time in less than five months.’
    • ‘In April, over 40 graves were desecrated and headstone overturned.’
    violate, profane, treat sacrilegiously, treat with disrespect
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    1. 1.1 Spoil (something which is valued or respected)
      ‘many lanes are desecrated with yellow lines’
      • ‘Meanwhile, apart from desecrating the countryside, wind turbines are diverting resources that could be put to better use.’
      • ‘He said the people in the caravans had desecrated every area and they would just have to take strong action so that it would not happen again.’
      • ‘Who are these lazy, careless citizens who chose to pollute and desecrate this beautiful area - they cannot all be visitors!’
      • ‘Not only is the grey squirrel responsible for the elimination of the red squirrel it is also to blame for damaging our woodlands and desecrating the nests of woodland birds.’
      • ‘No wonder then that there is panic about this deluge of pornography that is desecrating culture and family values.’
      • ‘Without exception, the children were incensed at the idea of Scottish battle sites being desecrated by building development.’
      • ‘Were the images destroyed, desecrated or mutilated because they were potent or impotent?’
      • ‘Local authorities do have more powers of control than they had at first, but there is still a necessity for restraint and more inventive ways of thinking about where to put masts rather than desecrating the countryside.’
      • ‘However, a Council spokesman said the roots of the trees that had been felled were damaged, and it was not correct to state that they had set out to desecrate the area.’
      • ‘Who can possibly consider that they have the right to desecrate our countryside in such a way?’
      • ‘There's plenty of narcissism triggers in his background - the highly respected, distant father, whose values he gleefully desecrates even as he treats him with an almost somber respect.’
      • ‘It is depressing for teachers and pupils alike to see their working environment desecrated by the moronic minority.’
      • ‘And why, when they live in one of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles do they want to desecrate the view with this abhorrence?’
      • ‘I cannot fathom how an organisation empowered to preserve national heritage sites could desecrate natural resources in this manner.’
      • ‘We're here in the West to revel in wide open spaces, not desecrate them.’
      harm, do damage to, injure, mar, deface, mutilate, mangle, impair, blemish, disfigure, vandalize, blight, spoil, defile
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Late 17th century: from de- (expressing reversal) + a shortened form of consecrate.