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pro·fane / prəˈfān; prō-/ • adj. 1. relating or devoted to that which is not sacred or biblical; secular rather than religious: a talk that tackled topics both sacred and profane. ∎  (of a person) not initiated into religious rites or any esoteric knowledge: he was an agnostic, a profane man.2. (of a person or their behavior) not respectful of orthodox religious practice; irreverent: desecration of the temple by profane adolescents. ∎  (of language) blasphemous or obscene.• v. [tr.] treat (something sacred) with irreverence or disrespect: it was a serious matter to profane a tomb.DERIVATIVES: prof·a·na·tion / ˌpräfəˈnāshən; ˌprō-/·fane·ly·fane·ness·fan·er n.ORIGIN: late Middle English (in the sense ‘heathen’): from Old French prophane, from Latin profanus ‘outside the temple, not sacred,’ from pro- (from pro ‘before’) + fanum ‘temple.’

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