sacrifice

noun
sac·​ri·​fice | \ ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs also -fəs or -ˌfīz\

Definition of sacrifice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of offering to a deity something precious especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
2 : something offered in sacrifice
3a : 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

sacrifice

verb
sacrificed; sacrificing

Definition of sacrifice (Entry 2 of 2)

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 hit
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

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Other Words from sacrifice

Verb

sacrificer noun

Synonyms for sacrifice

Synonyms: Noun

immolation, offering, victim

Synonyms: Verb

immolate, offer

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the most important sacrifices Tony Mendez made for his country was coming out of retirement for one last operation: letting the world in. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Offbeat Genius of a Great American Spy," 26 Jan. 2019 The only sacrifices are in presentation to accommodate the small screen. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Review: Civilization VI on the iPhone is the full experience," 4 Oct. 2018 An opinion recorded in the Talmud states that prayers correspond to the daily sacrifices offered in the Temple which are mentioned in this week's portion. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "Why do we pray with a set text?," 2 July 2018 At the funeral Thursday, friends and family members spoke about the ultimate sacrifices made by King and Rohrer and also about their lives as parents, co-workers and public servants. Ian Cummings, Glenn E. Rice, Lauren Fox, Katie Bernard And Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "'Thank you just isn't good enough.' Police, friends and family bid deputies farewell," 21 June 2018 Researchers and anthropologists are now trying to understand the motivation behind the large-scale sacrifice, and why the burial pits combined children with baby llamas. The Washington Post, AL.com, "Bodies of 140 children found in Peru, possibly world's largest child sacrifice site," 27 Apr. 2018 As for why the sacrifice took place Verano said that researchers can only hypothesize at this point. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Remains of 140 children who died in the 16th century, point to largest child sacrifice in history," 26 Apr. 2018 For a phone that’s a third to half the price of the others on this list, the sacrifices are worth it. Jeffrey Van Camp, WIRED, "The 4 Best Smartphones Money Can Buy in 2018," 9 Apr. 2018 The other sacrifice that owners of a Qualcomm Snapdragon PC have to make is to tolerate that apps written for the Intel Core chips have to be emulated, or interpreted—a translation feature that slows down the app somewhat. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft plans to bring native 64-bit apps to Qualcomm-powered PCs, but it'll take time," 6 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the real-life version of this technique would rely entirely on robotic spacecraft, not nobly self-sacrificing miners. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Asteroid Billiards: This Wild Idea to Protect Earth Just Might Work," 24 Aug. 2018 Penta sacrificed Horsey to second and Melinda Morgan grounded back to Murphy for the second out, with Horsey moving to third. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "CMW falls to Bo Manor, 2-0, in near repeat of softball game played earlier this month," 1 May 2018 First, Idris Elba’s Heimdall sacrificed himself in order to jettison the Hulk back to earth. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Avengers: Infinity War—Does Death Even Matter Anymore?," 26 Apr. 2018 In doing so, companies sacrifice valuable rail capacity. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "American Railways Chug Toward Automation," 19 Jan. 2019 Jameela Jamil didn't sacrifice comfort for fashion at the Golden Globes tonight. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jameela Jamil Wore Jeans to the Golden Globes—Under Her Gown," 7 Jan. 2019 Illinois is a state that produces presidents, from Lincoln to Obama; Duckworth has visibly sacrificed for her country. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Who’s In and Who’s Out of the 2020 Presidential Race—So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 Who among my friends is willing to sacrifice her career and comfort to accomplish these tiny victories of virtue? Alden Wicker, Vox, "The spare button represents all the ways we fail to be good consumers," 14 Dec. 2018 This is where thinness betrays it: Acer sacrificed performance to reach this level of svelte, but that would be ok if the laptop wasn't priced at $1,699. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Swift 7 review: Thinness above all else demands many compromises," 8 Nov. 2018

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

History and Etymology for sacrifice

Noun

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

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Statistics for sacrifice

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sacrifice

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

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More Definitions for sacrifice

sacrifice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sacrifice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone
: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god
: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice

sacrifice

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sacrifice (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give up (something that you want to keep) especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone
: to kill (a person or animal) in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god
: to make a sacrifice bunt

sacrifice

noun
sac·​ri·​fice | \ ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs \

Kids Definition of sacrifice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or ceremony of making an offering to God or a god especially on an altar
2 : something offered as a religious act
3 : an act of giving up something especially for the sake of someone or something else We were happy to make a sacrifice of our time to help a friend in need.
4 : something given up especially for the sake of helping others

sacrifice

verb
sacrificed; sacrificing

Kids Definition of sacrifice (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to offer or kill as a religious act The ancient ritual involved sacrificing an animal.
2 : to give up (something) especially for the sake of something or someone else They sacrificed their lives for their country.

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Comments on sacrifice

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