mor·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌmȯr-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce mortification (audio)
: 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 girlWashington Irving
: the cause of such humiliation or shame
: the subjection and denial of bodily passions and appetites by abstinence or self-inflicted pain or discomfort
was customary to practice mortification during Lent

Examples of mortification in a Sentence

the mortification of being dumped the night before the prom
Recent Examples on the Web What Ventura alleges is more harrowing than anything in the years of cavalier gossip-page and forum rumors about the pair: grievous harm and mortification even as Diddy made bubbly late-night and daytime television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 17 Apr. 2024 Your book is dealing with that too, this mortification of the flesh and Matrix-y refusal to engage with the body, denying the kids are going to find ways to make out in the bushes. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 The radical precision of Kant’s thought comes off as a product of the radical precision (or absurd rigidity) of his habits, which Collin nonetheless loads with pathos—as representing a quest for mental purity via the secular mortification of physicality. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 19 Mar. 2024 Less than three years later, they had been subjected to a ritual mortification. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for mortification 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mortification.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near mortification

Cite this Entry

“Mortification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


mor·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌmȯrt-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce mortification (audio)
: local death of tissue in the animal body : necrosis, gangrene

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