noun mar·tyr \ˈmär-tər\

: a person who is killed or who suffers greatly for a religion, cause, etc.

: a person who pretends to suffer or who exaggerates suffering in order to get praise or sympathy

: a person who suffers greatly from something (such as an illness)

Full Definition of MARTYR

:  a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion
:  a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle
:  victim; especially :  a great or constant sufferer <a martyr to asthma all his life — A. J. Cronin>
mar·tyr·i·za·tion \ˌmär-tə-rə-ˈzā-shən\ noun
mar·tyr·ize \ˈmär-tə-ˌrīz\ transitive verb

Origin of MARTYR

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek martyr-, martys witness
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Christian Religious Terms

Pentateuch, blasphemy, curate, doxology, eremite, iconoclasm, liturgy, orison, pneuma, reliquary

Rhymes with MARTYR



: to kill (someone) for refusing to give up a belief or cause

Full Definition of MARTYR

transitive verb
:  to put to death for adhering to a belief, faith, or profession
:  to inflict agonizing pain on :  torture

First Known Use of MARTYR

before 12th century

Rhymes with MARTYR


Next Word in the Dictionary: martyrdomPrevious Word in the Dictionary: martletAll Words Near: martyr
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
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