mar·​tyr·​dom | \ ˈmär-tər-dəm How to pronounce martyrdom (audio) \

Definition of martyrdom

1 : the suffering of death on account of adherence to a cause and especially to one's religious faith … defended moral truth even to the point of enduring martyrdom— Andrew Sullivan

Examples of martyrdom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Not content to tell a success story, Smith sells a martyrdom story. Armond White, National Review, 11 Feb. 2022 Gramsci’s humble origins are often pointed to as a feature of his political martyrdom, his early misfortunes so many stigmata in a life destined to be sacrificed for a tragic cause. Thomas Meaney, The New Republic, 30 Mar. 2022 Twitter’s ban of Trump, in January, 2021, removed the former President’s ability to communicate directly with millions of Americans—including many who hate him—but enhanced the quality of his digital martyrdom. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 11 Jan. 2022 Not much is known about Valentine, other than the date of his martyrdom - Feb. 14. Leada Gore |, al, 14 Feb. 2022 Woven into the mythology of Flynn’s martyrdom is that his dire warnings about the growing threat of Islamic extremism were what ultimately cost him his job at the D.I.A. New York Times, 4 Feb. 2022 The renown of young African Americans willing to risk their lives to free their people also helped catalyze worthy initiatives by supporters who had no taste for martyrdom. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, 30 July 2021 Twenty years after Batman Returns, a vastly more successful Batman movie turned its own protagonist into a messianic legend, whose apparent martyrdom inspires a whole generation toward self-improvement. Darren Franich,, 20 Jan. 2022 The suffering became part of her mystique, and in the end it was elevated, by tragedy, into a kind of martyrdom. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of martyrdom

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of martyrdom was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Martyrdom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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