profanity

Definitions

  • 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
    • n profanity vulgar or irreverent speech or action
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is illegal in Georgia to use profanity in the presence of a corpse.
    • Profanity That which is profane; profane language or acts. "The brisk interchange of profanity and folly."
    • Profanity The quality or state of being profane; profaneness; irreverence; esp., the use of profane language; blasphemy.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n profanity Profaneness; the quality of being profane.
    • n profanity That which is profane; profane language or conduct.
    • n profanity Synonyms Blasphemy, Profanity. See blasphemy.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Profanity irreverence: that which is profane: profane language or conduct
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Quotations

  • 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
    Georges%20Bataille
    “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
    Henry%20Van%20Dyke
    “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
    Ralph%20Waldo%20Emerson
    “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
    Ralph%20Waldo%20Emerson
    “No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no past at my back.”
  • Mark Twain
    Mark%20Twain
    “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. profanitas,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. profanuspro, before, fanum, a temple.

Usage

In literature:

I felt as if I had been almost guilty of profanation in my thoughtless intrusion.
"The Caxtons, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
You cry that truth is profaned when your dogmas are questioned.
"A Strange Story, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
He profaned the grave!
"My Novel, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The Northern radicals were wont to say, "Let the South go," the more profane among them interjecting "to hell!
"Marse Henry, Complete" by Henry Watterson
His profanity, threats and imprecations were fearful.
"The Wonders of Prayer" by Various
The east, then, is, in Masonry, the symbol of the order, and the north the symbol of the profane world.
"The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey
During all this time I was never joined in profession of religion with any, being afraid both of professor and profane.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX." by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
It cannot affect the profane, who are, of course, beyond its pale.
"The Principles of Masonic Law" by Albert G. Mackey
They seemed more wicked and profane the farther west we walked.
"Death Valley in '49" by William Lewis Manly
The great Church and hierarchy are profaned.
"The Art Of The Moving Picture" by Vachel Lindsay
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In poetry:

Profane Love speaks
``I am the Goddess mortals call Profane,
Yet worship me as though I were divine;
Over their lives, unrecognised, I reign,
For all their thoughts are mine.
"Sacred And Profane Love" by Alfred Austin
"Oft, when a mortal vow profanes my ear,
My sire's dread fury murmurs through the sky;
And should I yield—his instant rage appears;
He darts th' uplifted vengeance—and I die.
"Elegy XVI. He Suggests the Advantage of Birth To a Person of Merit" by William Shenstone
Say, ye apostate and profane,
Wretches, who blush not to disdain
Allegiance to your God,--
Did e'er your idly wasted love
Of virtue for her sake remove
And lift you from the crowd?
"An Ode, On Reading Mr. Richardson's History Of Sir Charles Grandison" by William Cowper
"The world is frantic—fly the race profane—.
Nor I, nor you, shall its compassion move:
Come, friendly let us wander and complain;
And tell me, Shepherd! hast thou seen my love?
"Elegy XVI. He Suggests the Advantage of Birth To a Person of Merit" by William Shenstone
``I listened tremblingly while Love Profane
Strove to entice you to the worldling's throne,
Along the worldling's way, but strove in vain.
Now hath She gone, and we are here alone.''
"Sacred And Profane Love" by Alfred Austin
Where are thy children? At play on the street;
Romping and shouting the varlets I meet;
Ah, my soul it is sad, and my heart it is pained,
For children neglected and Sabbaths profaned!
"The Demon Drink!" by Janet Hamilton

In news:

Oct 22, 2012 — North Country Green Party candidate Donald Hassig says he left a profane voice mail message over the weekend on the answering machine of a woman who serves as one of his party's top state officials.
Avril Lavigne drops profanities at a baseball game.
First off, I guess I have to say that the following video contains profanity.
This video includes a TON of profanity, including the F-word.
Exercise, the word, might sound like profanity to some people.
IN America, where people rank among the most religious in the industrialized world, to burn a church is to commit an act of a singular profanity.
As with every year, it was a mix of the ridiculous and the sublime, the sacred and the profane.
Commissioner Bud Selig reacted with a profanity Thursday when asked for an update on the A's bid to build a ballpark in San Jose.
MLive readers support SVSU as student aims protest censorship with profanity on bulletin board .
Constitutionality of Middelboro profanity bylaw in question.
Rated R (profanity, graphic violence, torture).
Yes, Virginia, profane comedy can feel cozy.
Yet Mahanic, who was dismissed Nov 9 after his profanity-laced rant toward his team went viral on the Internet, said his heart was in the right place.
An appeals court has ruled that a Brown County judge acted within her authority when tacking on a year to a prison inmate's sentence following a profanity-laced exchange in court.
Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo says the officers used profanity after a Seattle police officer asked a female companion of theirs to pick up an item of litter.
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