cru·​ci·​fy | \ ˈkrü-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce crucify (audio) \
crucified; crucifying

Definition of crucify

transitive verb

1 : to put to death by nailing or binding the wrists or hands and feet to a cross
2 : to destroy the power of : mortify crucify the flesh
3a : to treat cruelly : torment
b : pillory sense 2 crucified in the press

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Other Words from crucify

crucifier \ ˈkrü-​sə-​ˌfī-​ər How to pronounce crucify (audio) \ noun

Examples of crucify in a Sentence

They crucified her in the newspapers for having an affair.
Recent Examples on the Web Nazaryan seemingly was trying to crucify the author rather than giving a solid review of the book. Los Angeles Times, "A majestic ‘Tapestry’ and a ‘Cinderella’ worth revisiting," 22 Feb. 2021 Jesus is then crucified (nailed to a cross alive), the death of a common criminal. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 9 Apr. 2020 The crosses have three beams, the lowest one slanted from left to right to symbolize the different attitudes of the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus Christ. oregonlive, "Russian Old Believers in Oregon confront coronavirus: ‘It’s made its way into our community’," 9 May 2020 The land is ruled by King Uther Pendragon, who allows fanatical Red Paladins to roam the land crucifying villages of people as heretics. Christian Holub,, "See Katherine Langford wield Excalibur in exclusive preview images from Netflix's Cursed," 7 May 2020 Anyone who did cross the line ended up getting crucified. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "25 years ago this week, we saw baseball return from historic monthslong strike," 23 Apr. 2020 Folmar’s evaluation of the problem doesn’t account for socioeconomic variables or addiction being a medical condition, but focuses on crucifying the dealers and reduces the problem to a personal decision that must be condemned. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Guilt and revenge limit the options for solving ‘Shooting Heroin’s’ opioid crisis," 3 Apr. 2020 Michael Scott gets crucified: Writer Aaron Schure pitched an idea where Michael's shirt got caught in a garage door while playing basketball. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "5 things we learned from 'The Office' oral history: The making of Michael, Jim and Pam's near breakup," 24 Mar. 2020 Scarecrows, crucified across makeshift crosses, stood erected, pumpkins were piled, but trees were still green. Christopher Borrelli,, "For Richard Powers of Evanston, author of the Pulitzer-winning ‘Overstory,’ trees are people too," 8 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crucify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crucify

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crucify

Middle English crucifien, from Anglo-French crucifier, from Late Latin crucifigere

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Time Traveler for crucify

Time Traveler

The first known use of crucify was in the 14th century

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Statistics for crucify

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crucify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for crucify



English Language Learners Definition of crucify

: to kill (someone) by nailing or tying his or her hands and feet to a cross
informal : to criticize (someone or something) very harshly


cru·​ci·​fy | \ ˈkrü-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce crucify (audio) \
crucified; crucifying

Kids Definition of crucify

1 : to put to death by nailing or binding the hands and feet to a cross
2 : to treat cruelly or harshly Dishonest judges were crucified in the newspapers.

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