Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

mortify

play
verb mor·ti·fy \ˈmȯr-tə-ˌfī\

Simple Definition of mortify

  • : to cause (someone) to feel very embarrassed and foolish

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of mortify

mortified

mortifying

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 obsolete :  to destroy the strength, vitality, or functioning of

  3. 2 :  to subdue or deaden (as the body or bodily appetites) especially by abstinence or self-inflicted pain or discomfort

  4. 3 :  to subject to severe and vexing embarrassment :  shame

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to practice mortification

  7. 2 :  to become necrotic or gangrenous

Examples of mortify in a sentence

  1. It mortified me to have to admit that I'd never actually read the book.

  2. <was mortified by her children's atrocious manners>



Did You Know?

Mortify once actually meant "put to death", but no longer. Its "deaden" sense is most familiar to us in the phrase "mortifying the flesh", which refers to a custom once followed by devout Christians, who would starve themselves, deprive themselves of every comfort, and even whip themselves in order to subdue their bodily desires and punish themselves for their sins. But the most common use of mortify today is the "humiliate" sense; its connection with death is still apparent when we speak of "dying of embarrassment".

Origin and Etymology of mortify

Middle English mortifien, from Anglo-French mortifier, from Late Latin mortificare, from Latin mort-, mors


First Known Use: 14th century


MORTIFY Defined for Kids

mortify

play
verb mor·ti·fy \ˈmȯr-tə-ˌfī\

Definition of mortify for Students

mortified

mortifying

  1. :  to embarrass greatly <I ought to have read more, for I find I don't know anything, and it mortifies me. — Louisa May Alcott, Little Women>




Medical Dictionary

mortify

play
intransitive verb mor·ti·fy \ˈmȯrt-ə-ˌfī\

Medical Definition of mortify

mortified

;

mortifying

  1. :  to become necrotic or gangrenous





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mortify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

different from the usual or normal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate acommadate accommodate accomodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ