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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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.