sacrifice

1 of 2

noun

sac·​ri·​fice ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs How to pronounce sacrifice (audio)
 also  -fəs,
 or  -ˌfīz
1
: an act of offering to a deity something precious
especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
2
: something offered in sacrifice
3
a
: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
b
: something given up or lost
the sacrifices made by parents
4
: loss
goods sold at a sacrifice
5

sacrifice

2 of 2

verb

sacrificed; sacrificing

transitive verb

1
: to offer as a sacrifice
2
: to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief, or end
3
: to sell at a loss
4
: to advance (a base runner) by means of a sacrifice bunt
5
: to kill (an animal) as part of a scientific experiment

intransitive verb

1
: to make or perform the rites of a sacrifice
2
: to make a sacrifice hit in baseball
sacrificer noun

Examples of sacrifice in a Sentence

Noun The war required everyone to make sacrifices. No sacrifice is too great when it comes to her children. He made many personal sacrifices to provide help to the city's homeless people. The war required much sacrifice from everyone. a place where priests performed human sacrifices in ancient rituals The villagers hoped the gods would accept their sacrifice. The goat was offered as a sacrifice. The runner went to second base on a sacrifice. Verb She's had to sacrifice a lot for her family. He sacrificed his personal life in order to get ahead in his career. I want to follow a diet that is healthful without sacrificing taste. She was able to ask for their help without sacrificing her dignity. She was willing to suffer, sacrifice, and work for success. a place where people were sacrificed in ancient rituals He sacrificed in his first at bat. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This year, more than any other, has been the year of sacrifice. Shane Young, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 These sacrifices may have been more commonplace in past decades – but Chinese women are more educated and economically independent than ever, and now outnumber men in higher education programs. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 22 Feb. 2024 First, the gift cost your friend nothing: The painting was presumably generated by one of the free diffusion models that are available online, and so required zero monetary sacrifice. Meghan O'Gieblyn, WIRED, 20 Feb. 2024 The pit was used as a well for malting and brewing beer until the end of the third century, when passersby began contributing small objects as sacrifices. Catherine Duncan, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Feb. 2024 His death almost certainly came as the result of human sacrifice, then a common practice in the bogs of Denmark, researchers said. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 15 Feb. 2024 His sacrifice and subsequent success boosted team morale as the bench jumped up after Owen recorded the win. Timothy Dashiell, Baltimore Sun, 11 Feb. 2024 Feeling obligated to make enormous sacrifices for the good of others, despite no one in power ever naming, recognizing, honoring, or compensating them for their losses. Eric Klinenberg, TIME, 9 Feb. 2024 Easter is an opportunity to thank our Lord, Jesus Christ for his ultimate sacrifice, and to live in gratitude for His cleansing of our sins. Jorie Nicole McDonald, Southern Living, 7 Feb. 2024
Verb
The year before that the team lost 10 players from its league championship team, among them leading scorer Cristian Arango and MLS Cup hero Gareth Bale, who were both sacrificed to the salary cap. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Marketers must innovate and find ways to optimize budgets without sacrificing the long-term vision and engagement that fuel brand growth. Anton Lipkanou, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Fantastic for landscape, wildlife, and portrait photography, this lens definitely elevates your smartphone photo game by offering more flexibility without sacrificing quality. Lauren Breedlove, Travel + Leisure, 23 Feb. 2024 More and more, watchmakers are focusing on form without sacrificing function and getting a little playful in the process. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 22 Feb. 2024 As an open-box product, these headphones offer affordability without sacrificing quality and are an excellent choice for a powerful listening experience. Stack Commerce, Popular Science, 21 Feb. 2024 Walmart has also sacrificed profit in recent years by investing billions of dollars to build out its digital operation. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 20 Feb. 2024 Researchers have speculated he may have been sacrificed. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 16 Feb. 2024 The key is to find the optimal balance; charge the right price for your products or services, sell enough to meet your targets, and manage costs without sacrificing quality. Melissa Houston, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin sacrificium, from sacr-, sacer + facere to make — more at do

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sacrifice was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near sacrifice

Cite this Entry

“Sacrifice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacrifice. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

sacrifice

1 of 2 noun
sac·​ri·​fice ˈsak-rə-ˌfīs How to pronounce sacrifice (audio)
-fəs
1
: an act of offering something precious to God or a god
especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
2
: something offered in sacrifice
3
: a giving up of something especially for the sake of someone else
also : something so given up
4
: loss of profit
sell goods at a sacrifice

sacrifice

2 of 2 verb
sac·​ri·​fice
ˈsak-rə-ˌfīs,
-ˌfīz
sacrificed; sacrificing
1
: to offer or perform as a sacrifice
2
: to give up for the sake of something else
3
: to sell at a loss
4
: to make a sacrifice hit
sacrificer noun
Etymology

Noun

Middle English sacrifice "the act of offering something to God or a god," from early French sacrifice (same meaning), from Latin sacrificium "sacrifice," from sacr-, sacer "sacred" and -ficium, from facere "to do, make" — related to sacred

More from Merriam-Webster on sacrifice

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