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

Like her Dutch predecessors, Duennebier’s glistening realism captures bounty and menace, allure and mortification. Cate Mcquaid,, "‘Pushing Painting’ presents the medium’s possibilities," 20 June 2018 The show quickly figured out the difference between vicious and vital satire, with especially good sendups of Cabinet members (many of whom are still serving!), the Fox News echo chamber and the MSNBC mortification machine. Author: Hank Stuever, Anchorage Daily News, "Summer is the right time for those TV shows you’ve heard about, but never got around to watching," 14 June 2018 With its mortifications and sense of worldwide communion, the World Cup—which begins on June 14th—is a kind of global religion. The Economist, "When drama and beauty turn the World Cup into art," 7 June 2018 The past is no longer needed to provide periodic mortification. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Alan Watts and the Eternal Present," 9 Feb. 2018 Harold and Danny, who plays a little piano but has never really worked and has just been dumped by his wife, turn up for the party in tuxedos and discover to their mortification that everyone else is dressed down, in I’m-too-rich-to-care jeans. Kyle Smith, National Review, "All in the Family," 30 Sep. 2017 Then and now, the expressions on their faces reminded of the one on my sister’s when our mom used to correct our friends’ grammar or manners—mortification with a side of loathing. Elisabeth Egan, Glamour, "Keep Your Fake Empowerment T-Shirts off My Daughter’s Body," 7 Sep. 2017 A bovine nirvana, in other words, where the fleshly mortification of Theravada Buddhism does not apply. Joseph Hincks / Hong Kong, Time, "This Is How It Feels to Eat 13-Year-Old Steak," 30 Aug. 2017 To enable him to feel this guilt in his heart, and not merely exhibit all the exterior signs of mortification and remorse as a reaction to public pressure. Joshua Cohen, WIRED, "The Great Tech Panic: What If All Your Secrets Became Public Information?," 25 Aug. 2017

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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Statistics for mortification

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for mortification

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

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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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