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From Middle English blasfemye, from Old French blasfemie, from Ecclesiastical Latin blasphēmia, from Ancient Greek βλασφημία (blasphēmía, profanity), from βλασφημέω (blasphēméō, to slander).


  • IPA(key): /ˈblæs.fə.mi/
  • Rhymes: -æsfəmi
  • (file)


blasphemy (countable and uncountable, plural blasphemies)

  1. An act of irreverence or contempt toward a god or toward something considered sacred; an impious act, utterance, view, etc.
    That imam said that drawing the prophet Muhammad is a form of blasphemy.
    • 1920, John Rougier Cohu, The Bible and Modern Thought, page 325:
      Had God cancelled His everlasting Covenant with Israel? The mere thought was blasphemy! But what did God's silence and the present dark cloud mean?
    • 1979, Monty Python's Life of Brian, spoken by Matthias (John Young):
      Look, I don't think it ought to be blasphemy, just saying "Jehovah".
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Presrop:
      Shepard: What happened to those other Alliance officers? The ones who came before me?
      Major Kyle: They wanted to take me away from here! They wanted me to abandon this place. Turn my back on my family. They spoke blasphemy!
      Major Kyle: I did what I could to make their end quick and painless. I had no other choice. It was necessary to protect my children. Only I can keep them safe.
    • 2009, Francis, Business Ethics, Tata McGraw-Hill Education, →ISBN, page 139:
      The fundamentalists in that religion hold that such views are blasphemy and that religion is above criticism.
  2. (by extension) An act of irreverence towards anything considered inviolable; the act of disregarding a convention.
    • 1999, American Lutherie: The Quarterly Journal of the Guild of American Luthiers:
      Some historical information is given on the Panormo family of guitar makers and a whole chapter is called, "Maccaferri's 'Monstrosity'," the name given Julian's Maccaferri guitar due to the blasphemy of its having more than six strings, []
    • 2004, Touring Club of Italy, The Italian Wine Guide: The Definitive Guide to Touring, Sourcing and Tasting, Touring Editore, →ISBN, page 149:
      The market has responded well to this type of packaging [wine in cardboard containers], even if some consider it near blasphemy, and it has had a role in bringing wine to the younger generation and to social classes intimidated by the high price of many bottled products.
    • 2015, Benjamin V. Root, Interactive Applications Using Matplotlib, Packt Publishing Ltd, →ISBN, page 89:
      I know this is utter blasphemy and completely incomprehensible to developers and power users who love their keyboard shortcuts, but some people just love having buttons on their screens with the exact name of their function written on them.



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  1. Alternative form of blasfemye