Definition of sacrilege in English:



  • Violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred.

    ‘putting ecclesiastical vestments to secular use was considered sacrilege’
    • ‘Intervention by authority was necessary for very serious sins such as adultery, murder, and sacrilege.’
    • ‘For the Actionists, as for the artists cited above, there is no notion of sacrilege or blasphemy.’
    • ‘She could tell he considered such sacrilege a bad omen for their expedition inland.’
    • ‘Rejecting a person begging for protection counted as sacrilege.’
    • ‘At the synod a catalogue of John's crimes was presented, ranging from rape to sacrilege.’
    • ‘It is heresy, sacrilege, a pockmark upon the face of our National Pastime!’
    • ‘On paper, it does sound like sacrilege for this screen goddess to wear a silly hat, get drunk, and make a public scene.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Jews should have responded to this sacrilege by mourning and distancing themselves.’
    • ‘He was even prepared to utter what would once have been considered sacrilege.’
    • ‘Renaming the ground KitKat Crescent is sacrilege.’
    • ‘There's also grilled red onions, but I usually do without those: that's pastrami sacrilege.’
    • ‘Likening him to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela is sacrilege.’
    • ‘He also stated that to mix the psalms and uninspired hymns together is 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.’
    • ‘If not, come to gawk at a level of sacrilege no other religious culture would even dream of condoning.’
    • ‘The former teen idol stands accused of musical sacrilege.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’.