If you show up to an animal rights rally with a bucket full of fried chicken for lunch, you may be accused of committing sacrilege. You are violating a belief held sacred, at least by some individuals.

Sacrilege has its roots in the Latin sacr-, meaning "holy." Sacrilege was originally reserved for talking about blasphemous acts that disrespect, violate, or misuse holy traditions or objects. However, today the term sacrilege carries a broader, and lighter, meaning than its origins suggest. For example, it's usually considered sacrilege to root for the out-of-town team that's playing against your home team. Ancient users of this word might think our looser definition is sacrilege.

Definitions of sacrilege
  1. noun
    blasphemous behavior; the act of depriving something of its sacred character
    synonyms: blasphemy, desecration, profanation
    see moresee less
    type of:
    irreverence, violation
    a disrespectful act
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week