• Communion silver used in the Jamestown church after 1661. Both the chalice and paten were made in London, and donated to the church by Lt. Gov. Francis Morrison (or Moryson) in 1661. On both pieces is the legend: “Mixe not holy thinges with profane.”
    Communion silver used in the Jamestown church after 1661. Both the chalice and paten were made in London, and donated to the church by Lt. Gov. Francis Morrison (or Moryson) in 1661. On both pieces is the legend: “Mixe not holy thinges with profane.”
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj profane characterized by profanity or cursing "foul-mouthed and blasphemous","blue language","profane words"
    • adj profane grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred "blasphemous rites of a witches' Sabbath","profane utterances against the Church","it is sacrilegious to enter with shoes on"
    • adj profane not holy because unconsecrated or impure or defiled
    • adj profane not concerned with or devoted to religion "sacred and profane music","secular drama","secular architecture", "children being brought up in an entirely profane environment"
    • v profane violate the sacred character of a place or language "desecrate a cemetery","violate the sanctity of the church","profane the name of God"
    • v profane corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality "debauch the young people with wine and women","Socrates was accused of corrupting young men","Do school counselors subvert young children?","corrupt the morals"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is illegal in Georgia to use profanity in the presence of a corpse.
    • Profane Not sacred or holy; not possessing peculiar sanctity; unconsecrated; hence, relating to matters other than sacred; secular; -- opposed to sacred religious, or inspired; as, a profane place. "Profane authors.""The profane wreath was suspended before the shrine."
    • Profane To put to a wrong or unworthy use; to make a base employment of; to debase; to abuse; to defile. "So idly to profane the precious time."
    • Profane To violate, as anything sacred; to treat with abuse, irreverence, obloquy, or contempt; to desecrate; to pollute; as, to profane the name of God; to profane the Scriptures, or the ordinance of God. "The priests in the temple profane the sabbath."
    • Profane Treating sacred things with contempt, disrespect, irreverence, or undue familiarity; irreverent; impious.
    • Profane Unclean; impure; polluted; unholy. "Nothing is profane that serveth to holy things."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • profane Not sacred, or not devoted to sacred purposes; not possessing any peculiar sanctity; unconsecrated; secular: as, a profane place; profane history (that is, history other than Biblical); profane authors.
    • profane Irreverent toward God or holy things; speaking or spoken, acting or acted, in manifest or implied contempt of sacred things; blasphemous: as, profane language; profane swearing.
    • profane Not initiated into certain religious rites; hence, of less dignity or standing; inferior; common.
    • profane Synonyms Temporal, unhallowed, unholy.
    • profane Impious, Atheistic, etc. (see irreligious); irreverent, sacrilegious.
    • profane To treat as if not sacred or deserving reverence; violate, as anything sacred; treat with irreverence, impiety, or contempt; pollute; desecrate.
    • profane To put to a wrong use; employ basely or unworthily.
    • profane To make known; make common: said of something confined to an initiated few.
    • profane To speak or behave blasphemously or profanely.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Profane prō-fān′ not sacred: common: secular: speaking or acting in contempt of sacred things: uninitiated: impious: impure
    • v.t Profane to violate anything holy: to abuse anything sacred: to put to a wrong use: to pollute: to debase
    • ***


  • Theodor W. Adorno
    Theodor W. Adorno
    “Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane.”
  • Georges Bataille
    “Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.”
  • Henry Van Dyke
    “Half of the secular unrest and dismal, profane sadness of modern society comes from the vain ideas that every man is bound to be a critic for life.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “The pest of society are the egotist, they are dull and bright, sacred and profane, course and fine. It is a disease that like the flu falls on all constitutions.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no past at my back.”
  • Mark Twain
    “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. profanus, properly, before the temple, i. e., without the temple, unholy; pro, before + fanum, temple. See 1st Fane


In literature:

Here, Ralph," she continued, giving me the violated hand, "cleanse it from that fellow's profanation.
"Rattlin the Reefer" by Edward Howard
An ancient grove was standing {there, as yet} profaned by no axe.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
His very touch is profanation.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
The indifference with which these profane and sometimes offensive works were admitted within sacred edifices is astonishing.
"Pagan and Christian Rome" by Rodolfo Lanciani
It was no mere profanity.
"Blazed Trail Stories" by Stewart Edward White
The cirque profan'd was, and all postures rack'd; For men did strut, and stride, and stare, not act.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
The Reformation, as surely as it threw down every carved stone, shut up the mouth of every profane songster.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI." by Various
Some of them ventured to pat him on the shoulder and volunteered profane promises to go with him to the limit.
"Joan of Arc of the North Woods" by Holman Day
Some jealous souls think this a robbery of friendship, and a profanation of their idol.
"The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851" by Various
The gravest charge against you is the profanation of holy places.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai

In poetry:

And there was pleasantness to me
In such belief — cold eyes
That slight dear nature's loveliness,
Profane her mysteries.
"The Primrose" by Caroline Anne Bowles Southey
And if this love, though placed so,
From profane men you hide,
Which will no faith on this bestow,
Or, if they do, deride:
"The Undertaking" by John Donne
Yet here no evil thought finds place,
Nor foot profane comes in;
Our grove, like that of Samothrace,
Is set apart from sin.
"June On The Merrimac" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Who then but must conceive disdain,
Hearing the deed unblest,
Of wretches who have dared profane
His dread sepulchral rest?
"Stanzas On The Late Indecent Liberties Taken With The Remains Of The Great Milton" by William Cowper
No, I shall envy them no more
Who grow profanely great,
Though they increase their golden store,
And rise to wondrous height.
"Hymn 56" by Isaac Watts
...Thy Sabbaths I profanely spent
In riot and vain merriment,
Or, which is worse, in drunkenness,
And ev'ry blameable excess.
"Lamentation Of A Sinner" by Rees Prichard

In news:

105 minutes Rated R (profanity, nudity, violence, drug abuse).
Rated R (rape, sex, violence, profanity).
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane .
Elvis Costello's 'Secret, Profane & Sugarcane '.
Elvis Costello's 'Secret, Profane & Sugarcane'.
Rated R (profanity) At the Lincoln Plaza and the Sunshine.
PROFANITY Some naughty talk that will offend few.
Earlier ruling said the FCC imposed unfair punishment for isolated profanity and sexual content.
Transcription attributes profanity to Dalai Lama in Ivy League speech on peace.
They shouted profanities, interrupted the speaker and were downright uncivil and disrespectful.
Manager Joe Torre said he was satisfied that no slurs were uttered , but he was not pleased with Hirschbeck's display and his use of profanity.
A verbal sparring match between Hughes, a 22-year veteran of the Regional Transit Authority, and Lane quickly went from nasty to profane to violent .
In the December issue of GQ, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine profanely bashes TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
I swear that I am not a profane person.
Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited.