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 That said, your obvious mortification should have served to prove that instinct wrong. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 This man who wanted to kill himself has found cosmic purpose in the bodily mortification required to conclude his quest. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 13 Aug. 2021 Thoughts about resuming in-person socializing post-vaccination tend to induce fears of social mortification in people. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 3 June 2021 It’s prurient and obscene, and its mortification has been taken up by news media for everybody to see repeatedly and thus abuse themselves — self-righteously. Armond White, National Review, 26 May 2021 Waiting for a consensus means accepting more years of stasis, a trillion trips through the same warren of mortification, the persistence of frustration, the ever-present shadow of crippling breakdowns, and the certainty of regional decline. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 5 May 2021 For my colleague Sophie Gilbert, the author’s depiction of mortification stood out the most. Kate Cray, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2021 No one except a flagellant likes bad news, and trustees aren’t known for self-mortification with whips, chains, and tail pipes. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 27 Mar. 2021 Mark grips his mouth as his eyes fill with mortification. Sofie Birkin, Marie Claire, 9 Feb. 2021

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near mortification



mortification root

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mortification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on mortification

Nglish: Translation of mortification for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mortification


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