Definition of sacrilege in English:



mass noun
  • Violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred.

    ‘putting ecclesiastical vestments to secular use was considered sacrilege’
    • ‘There's also grilled red onions, but I usually do without those: that's pastrami sacrilege.’
    • ‘It is heresy, sacrilege, a pockmark upon the face of our National Pastime!’
    • ‘If not, come to gawk at a level of sacrilege no other religious culture would even dream of condoning.’
    • ‘He was even prepared to utter what would once have been considered sacrilege.’
    • ‘Likening him to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela is sacrilege.’
    • ‘She could tell he considered such sacrilege a bad omen for their expedition inland.’
    • ‘The discovery of a sixth-century graveyard also led to a complaint of sacrilege from ultra-Orthodox Jews.’
    • ‘Some might consider this sacrilege, but the contrast with Shakespeare's play, Othello, is striking.’
    • ‘The four knights tried to drag him outside, to avoid aggravating their sacrilege by defiling the sanctuary.’
    • ‘He also stated that to mix the psalms and uninspired hymns together is sacrilege.’
    • ‘Intervention by authority was necessary for very serious sins such as adultery, murder, and sacrilege.’
    • ‘Renaming the ground KitKat Crescent is sacrilege.’
    • ‘The former teen idol stands accused of musical sacrilege.’
    • ‘This may seem like sacrilege, but take out a ruler and some scissors and - it's okay, you can do it - cut the scarf in half.’
    • ‘At the synod a catalogue of John's crimes was presented, ranging from rape to sacrilege.’
    • ‘On paper, it does sound like sacrilege for this screen goddess to wear a silly hat, get drunk, and make a public scene.’
    • ‘A beard and a mustache have been added to the face of the devil in the picture, so that the killer is guilty of sacrilege no less than murder.’
    • ‘The Jews should have responded to this sacrilege by mourning and distancing themselves.’
    • ‘Rejecting a person begging for protection counted as sacrilege.’
    • ‘For the Actionists, as for the artists cited above, there is no notion of sacrilege or blasphemy.’
    desecration, profanity, profaneness, profanation, blasphemy, impiety, impiousness, sin, irreverence, irreligion, irreligiousness, godlessness, unholiness, disrespect
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Middle English: via Old French from Latin sacrilegium, from sacrilegus ‘stealer of sacred things’, from sacer, sacr- ‘sacred’ + legere ‘take possession of’.