mor·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌmȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce mortification (audio) \

Definition of mortification

1a : a sense of humiliation and shame caused by something that wounds one's pride or self-respect the mortification of being jilted by a little boarding-school girl— Washington Irving
b : the cause of such humiliation or shame
3 : the subjection and denial of bodily passions and appetites by abstinence or self-inflicted pain or discomfort was customary to practice mortification during Lent

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Examples of mortification in a Sentence

the mortification of being dumped the night before the prom
Recent Examples on the Web Chalamet and Depp have since broken up, but the plague of paparazzi-induced mortification for the actor hasn't stopped. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Timothée Chalamet Was "Embarrassed" by Those Pap Pics of Him and Lily-Rose Depp," 15 Oct. 2020 At a time when the daily news cycle reliably delivers a fresh source of mortification for most Americans, some moments of shame are stinging and acute. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Electoral College Is an American Humiliation," 8 July 2020 Placating the goddesses through blood sacrifice, decorative offerings and self mortification, was – and in some places, still is – a way of preparing for a pandemic in parts of India. Tulasi Srinivas, The Conversation, "India’s goddesses of contagion provide protection in the pandemic – just don’t make them angry," 15 June 2020 Liam, 29-year-old Rob learns to her mortification, is fresh out of high school and roughly 19 years old. Ariana Romero,, "Is High Fidelity’s Scottish Dreamboat Really As Young As You Think?," 14 Feb. 2020 Awkward, chubby, and wearing a pair of oversized glasses, the boy blushed in mortification as the teacher mangled his Greek name of Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. Jancee Dunn, Washington Post, "Andrew Ridgeley reminisces about George Michael and the meteoric rise of Wham!," 9 Oct. 2019 The role play, designed to flip that polarity, has forced the white partners to look at color and see it deeply, even at the risk of mortification. New York Times, "Review: ‘Slave Play,’ Four Times as Big and Just as Searing," 6 Oct. 2019 My emotional pendulum has swung from rage to mortification. Teen Vogue, "The First Excerpt of Samira Ahmed's "Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know" Is an Immersive YA Adventure Story in Paris," 10 Sep. 2019 But the mortification here is not only for the Tories, or for Trump. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump Isn’t the Only One Who Should Be Embarrassed by the U.K. Ambassador’s Cables," 9 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Time Traveler for mortification

Time Traveler

The first known use of mortification was in the 14th century

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Statistics for mortification

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mortification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for mortification


mor·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌmȯrt-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce mortification (audio) \

Medical Definition of mortification

: local death of tissue in the animal body : necrosis, gangrene

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