Circa 1300, original sense “stealing something sacred”. From Old French sacrilege, from Latin sacrilegium, from sacrilegus (“sacrilegious”), from phrase sacrum legere, from sacrum (from sacer (“sacred, holy”)) + legō (“gather; take, steal”), from Proto-Indo-European *sak- and Proto-Indo-European *leǵ-. Sense of “profanation” from late 14th century.
Unrelated to religion, which is ultimately from ligō (“I tie, bind, or bandage”), from Proto-Indo-European *leyǵ- (“to bind”).
sacrilege (plural sacrileges)
- Desecration, profanation, misuse or violation of something regarded as sacred.
desecration, profanation, misuse or violation of something sacred
- ^ “sacrilege” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
From sacrilegus (“sacrilegious”), from sacer (“sacred, holy”) + legō (“gather; take, steal”).
sacrilegē (not comparable)
- sacrilegiously, impiously
First attested at the end of the 12th century, borrowing from Latin sacrilegium.
sacrilege m (oblique plural sacrileges, nominative singular sacrileges, nominative plural sacrilege)
- ^ “sacrilège” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).