im·​mo·​late | \ ˈi-mə-ˌlāt How to pronounce immolate (audio) \
immolated; immolating

Definition of immolate

transitive verb

1 : to kill or destroy especially by fire
2 : to offer in sacrifice especially : to kill as a sacrificial victim

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Other Words from immolate

immolator \ ˈi-​mə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce immolate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for immolate


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Examples of immolate in a Sentence

a man who immolated himself as an act of protest a ceremony in which they immolated their cherished possessions so that the gods would send rain
Recent Examples on the Web In The Disappearing City, Wright’s 1932 treatise on his ideal metropolis, the architect tried to immolate the concept of the industrial city on a pyre of adjectives. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 But other candidates self-immolated spectacularly and regularly. Conrad Black, National Review, "Send Out the Clowns," 11 Mar. 2020 La 15 Y Salsas Restaurant Oaxaqueño Iridescent exterior paint job aside, Las 15 Y Salsas looks like any old neighborhood taco joint, conjuring visions of greasy gorditas and immolated carne asada. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The 10 best restaurants in north Phoenix," 24 Feb. 2020 His disregard for the plight of fellow citizens was embedded in history when a fruit seller named Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself after a confrontation with the police, setting off the protests that toppled Mr. Ben Ali. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, 83, Tunisia Autocrat Ousted in Arab Spring, Dies," 19 Sep. 2019 This emphasis on compassion, Himmelfarb argued, saved the British (and the Americans as well) from the self-immolating liberalism of the French Revolution — which put reason in the place of sentiment, and so quickly became radically inhumane. Yuval Levin, National Review, "The Historian as Moralist," 31 Dec. 2019 Overstock’s Byrne is another CEO who seems to have self-immolated. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Does the WeWork meltdown show we’re in the twilight of the big shot CEO?," 26 Sep. 2019 Earlier, the police did not register a case until the victim tried to immolate herself. Shivam Vij, Quartz India, "India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has a rape problem," 25 Sep. 2019 The case grabbed attention in April 2018 when the girl tried to immolate herself outside the state chief minister’s home to protest police inaction on her rape complaint. Niha Masih, Washington Post, "Indian politician faces possible murder charge after teenager who accused him of rape is critically injured in car crash," 31 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'immolate.' 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 immolate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for immolate

Latin immolatus, past participle of immolare to sprinkle with meal before sacrificing, sacrifice, from in- + mola sacrificial barley cake, literally, millstone; akin to Latin molere to grind — more at meal

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Time Traveler for immolate

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The first known use of immolate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Immolate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of immolate

formal : to kill or destroy (someone or something) by fire

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Britannica English: Translation of immolate for Arabic Speakers

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