• WordNet 3.6
    • v desecrate remove the consecration from a person or an object
    • v desecrate violate the sacred character of a place or language "desecrate a cemetery","violate the sanctity of the church","profane the name of God"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Desecrate To divest of a sacred character or office; to divert from a sacred purpose; to violate the sanctity of; to profane; to put to an unworthy use; -- the opposite of consecrate. "The [Russian] clergy can not suffer corporal punishment without being previously desecrated .""The founders of monasteries imprecated evil on those who should desecrate their donations."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • desecrate To divest of sacred or hallowed character or office; divert from a sacred purpose or appropriation; treat with sacrilege; profane; pollute.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Desecrate des′e-krāt to divert from a sacred purpose: to profane
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. desecratus, p. p. of desecrare,also desacrare,) to consecrate, dedicate; but taken in the sense if to divest of a sacred character; de-, + sacrare, to consecrate, fr. sacer, sacred. See Sacred
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. desecrāre, -ātumde, away from, and sacrāre, to make sacred—sacer, sacred.


In literature:

One of the junior admirals saw fit to address him a remonstrance upon what he termed a desecration of the Sabbath.
"Types of Naval Officers" by A. T. Mahan
Touch no longer the altar with your desecrating hands.
"The Story of the Innumerable Company, and Other Sketches" by David Starr Jordan
Ajax, son of Oileus, desecrated Minerva's temple at Troy.
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil
Yet all remained silent; no thunders rent the skies; the desecrating priest sat his horse unharmed.
"Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
It desecrates no temple; but consecrates the universe.
"Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again" by Joseph Barker
This is public property you're desecrating.
"A Certain Rich Man" by William Allen White
Those whose dead lay buried there raised effectual outcries against this desecration.
"The Growth of English Drama" by Arnold Wynne
She did not need Helen's blush to show her what she had done, what desecration she had wrought.
"Franklin Kane" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
And at sight of this vile desecration the iron of revenge even then entered into my soul.
"Tales of Destiny" by Edmund Mitchell
The essence of Satanism is desecration.
"Secret Societies And Subversive Movements" by Nesta H. Webster

In poetry:

Say I: "O labor, to despoil
Some lovely forest scene,
Or at the granite stratum toil,
And desecrate whole roods of soil,
Is vandal-like and mean!
"Improvement." by Hattie Howard
Spare us the hint of slightest desecration,
Spotless preserve us an untainted shrine;
Not for thy sake, oh goddess of creation,
Not for thy sake, oh woman, but for mine.
"Of F.W.H.M. to One that Smokes" by James Kenneth Stephen
Then, while the burning village smoked on high,
And desecrated all the peaceful sky,
They took us captive, us, born frank and free,
On fleet, strong camels through the sandy sea.
"Zira: In Captivity" by Laurence Hope
O sacred head, O desecrate,
O labour-wounded feet and hands,
O blood poured forth in pledge to fate
Of nameless lives in divers lands,
O slain and spent and sacrificed
People, the grey-grown speechless Christ!
"Before A Crucifix" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
"This for Eileen, yellow-haired, this for dear and dark-eyed Maeve,
This for altar overthrown, this for desecrated grave,
Strong and swift for hunger dire, withered mother, murdered sire"–
Red the heart's-blood tinged each pike in Glen Moylena.
"Glen Moylena" by Anna Johnston MacManus
O snows remote, untrod, that gleam secure
From all the desecrating years of Time,
That, vestal still, shall front Eternity,
Thou art to me as some Ideal sublime,
That from its eminence unwon and pure
Speaks with the voice of what my soul might be.
"The Eternal Snows" by Clark Ashton Smith

In news:

The Taliban's moral standing to be complaining about the desecration of corpses is, to put it mildly, rather limited.
The Citizens Flag Alliance, a group pushing for the Senate this week to pass a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution, just reported an alarming, 33 percent increase in the number of flag-desecration incidents this year.
State officials expect to file charges soon against three to five people who they say vandalized and desecrated a 1,000-year-old site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kurt Vonnegut talks about his "desecration" of Stravinsky 's romanticized The Soldier's Tale.
Victim of cemetery theft calls stolen vase , 'desecrating the dead'.
) A Native American tribe in Oklahoma has filed a federal lawsuit to stop the $246,000,000 expansion of a hotel and casino, saying the construction desecrates ancestral and ceremonial land.
New details about a Koran desecration may do little to soothe Afghans like the youths protesting at Bagram Air Base last week.
Cemetery -desecration charge levied in Madrid crash.
Cemetery desecration charge laid in Madrid crash.
"Virtual flag desecration" or "Political art".
Suspects Who Desecrated Grave Were Looking for Something.
A high priest told the BBC such practices were not recognised by the mainstream Voodoo religion - and condemned the grave desecrations.
Hindu temple's desecration evidence of intolerant America.
The imam 's arrest could release the girl, who supporters say is mentally handicapped, out of prison, where she faces a life sentence if convicted of charges she desecrated the Quran.
Philippine negotiators hoping to end a Muslim insurgency have proposed creating monuments to abuses committed on both sides, including beheadings by rebels and a president's desecration of an insurgent headquarters with a pork feast.