au·​to-da-fé ˌau̇-tō-də-ˈfā How to pronounce auto-da-fé (audio)
plural autos-da-fé ˌau̇-tōz-də-ˈfā How to pronounce auto-da-fé (audio)
: the ceremony for pronouncing judgment by the Inquisition which was followed by the execution of sentence by secular authorities
broadly : the burning of a heretic

Word History


Portuguese auto da fé, literally, act of the faith

First Known Use

1688, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of auto-da-fé was in 1688

Dictionary Entries Near auto-da-fé

Cite this Entry

“Auto-da-fé.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

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