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 The 2003 piece, which consists of 10 large photographs, documents the artist sewing his right hand to his face in an act of deadpan martyrdom. New York Times, "Photography in the Raw," 4 Feb. 2021 The attack resulted in the martyrdom and the injury of several civilians. Los Angeles Times, "Twin suicide bombings hit Baghdad, killing 32 and sparking fears of Islamic State comeback," 21 Jan. 2021 But the capital of liberty and culture turned out to be a scene of martyrdom. Adam Kirsch, WSJ, "‘Heinrich Heine’ Review: Song of the Outsider," 18 Dec. 2020 White supremacists and deplatformed MAGA trolls may flock to smaller social platforms such as Gab and Parler, but these platforms offer little aside from a narrative of martyrdom without megascale. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, "Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine," 15 Dec. 2020 Although not canonized until the mid-20th century, the location of his martyrdom became a pilgrimage site shortly after his death, and a number of churches in the region were dedicated to him., "Christianity's foray into India depicted in statue of missionary killed over monogamy," 20 Oct. 2020 But also not quite right is denying, as Tufekci did, that words which can encourage these martyrdom daydreams are worthy of our attention. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "Trump's coup d'emotion," 9 Dec. 2020 If Fakhrizadeh wanted Iran to build a bomb, his ‘martyrdom’ at the hands of a foreign power will make that outcome far more likely. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "Assassination of top Iran weapons scientist dims hopes for nuclear diplomacy," 27 Nov. 2020 Joan’s martyrdom at age 19 to the ruthless hostility faced by a girl half that age (ten-year-old actress Lise Leplat Prudhomme portraying the Maid of Lorraine). Armond White, National Review, "A Second Joan of Arc Film Challenges Us All," 20 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Martyrdom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of martyrdom

: the suffering and death of a martyr

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