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defile (verb) profane; make less pure or less holy.

When you make a thing less pure or less holy, you defile it. When you treat in an unholy manner what others consider holy you defile it. For example, the invaders of the Roman Empire defiled Roman temples. That is, they damaged and destroyed them, without any regard for the Roman's feelings. Young minds are defiled by the obscenities in the movies, that is, their minds are corrupted.

  • Invading armies whose religion is different from that of the invaded nation usually defile the places of worship and other objects which the invaded nation considers holy.
  • The die-hard communists of Russia condemned the people who, after the fall of the USSR, defiled the statues of Lenin, by removing them from their places of honor.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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