Desecration, profanation, misuse, or theft of something regarded as sacred.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sacrilegium, from sacrilegus, one who steals sacred things : sacer, sacred; see SACRED + legere, to gather; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
sac′ri·legist (săk′rə-lējĭst) n.
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