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

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 There was a notorious TV report around 2014: a story of how Ukrainians crucify a Russian boy. New York Times, 1 Apr. 2022 Nazaryan seemingly was trying to crucify the author rather than giving a solid review of the book. Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2021 Jesus is then crucified (nailed to a cross alive), the death of a common criminal. National Geographic, 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, 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,, 7 May 2020 Anyone who did cross the line ended up getting crucified. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, 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, 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, 24 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near crucify

cruciform ligament



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Last Updated

9 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crucify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for crucify


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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