"divest of sacred character, treat with sacrilege," 1670s, from de- "do the opposite of" + stem of consecrate. Old French had dessacrer "to profane," and there is a similar formation in Italian; but Latin desecrare meant "to make holy," with de- in this case having a completive sense. Related: Desecrated; desecrating.
updated on July 30, 2018
Dictionary entries near desecrate