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

Definition of immolate

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from immolate

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

Synonyms for immolate


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 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 The incident came weeks after a 78-year-old man died after self-immolating near the Japanese Embassy, also in protest of Tokyo. Washington Post, "Thousands of South Koreans protest Japanese trade curbs," 2 Aug. 2019 Fouquet’s, brasserie of the superrich where Nicolas Sarkozy, the center-right president of France from 2007 to 2012, celebrated his election victory, was ransacked and immolated. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "A Play with No End," 22 July 2019 The Boston bullpen immolated in the seventh Sunday, blowing a 4-2 lead, as the Yankees unspooled a nine-run inning to sink the Sox, 12-8, a UK TKO. Globe Staff,, "Red Sox traveled long way to learn they’re far from being threat to Yankees," 30 June 2019 Closer Kenley Jansen watched from the bullpen on Monday as Kelly self-immolated. Andy Mccullough,, "You know what that Angels’ sweep of the Dodgers meant? Not much," 12 June 2019 The heat melted the gantry into a heap, and the flames immolated all 21 workers at the site, leaving nothing but teeth for medical examiners to identify the bodies. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of immolate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about immolate

Time Traveler for immolate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for immolate

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Immolate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for immolate


How to pronounce immolate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of immolate

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on immolate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for immolate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with immolate

Britannica English: Translation of immolate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on immolate

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


delight or enjoyment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!