sacrifice

noun
sac·​ri·​fice | \ ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs How to pronounce sacrifice (audio) 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

But Herrera’s valiance and skills as one of the Mexican Revolution’s most successful soldaderas are an example of the bravery and sacrifices women during this time made to change the history of Mexico’s politics — and should not be forgotten. Teen Vogue, "Mexican Revolutionary Petra Herrera Posed as a Man to Fight for Her Country," 1 Apr. 2019 Her courage and persistence is a reminder that freedom often comes at tremendous sacrifice. Glamour, "Glamour Woman of the Year Manal al-Sharif: 'Democracy Is Not a Privilege'," 12 Nov. 2018 Everyone makes compromises to achieve success, but now, these choices may feel more like sacrifices. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 These devotions are an act of penitence to raise awareness of Jesus’s self-sacrifice and love, says Morrill. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Holy Saturday, the Day Before Easter, and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 1 Mar. 2019 But ultimately First Man is about sacrifice and perseverance. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "What "First Man" Gets Right About the Apollo Moon Landing," 11 Oct. 2018 The holy man made his living providing ritual sacrifices and herbal medicines for a hefty price and Samta’s generosity towards her villagers was damaging his business. Seema Yasmin, SELF, "In Rural India, Protecting Women From Witch Hunting, and an Impending Flood," 17 Aug. 2018 Other Mesoamerican cultures also engaged in human sacrifice and built tzompantlis. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 The immigrant story of the Kims, that of sacrifice and finding opportunity in a strange, new land, was a familiar one, but Jong Jin's was also another one decades in the making: the rise of the Dad Fan. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Title IX Gave Rise to the Dad Fan," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kerr was committed to not sacrificing the health of his team down the stretch just to secure the No. 1 seed. Janie Mccauley, The Seattle Times, "Fresh off loss at Golden State, Clippers return for playoffs," 13 Apr. 2019 The most powerful host in the park (at least for a time) was gunned down in cold blood in the season finale, sacrificing her life to keep her daughter safe. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Westworld': 9 Burning Questions for Season 3," 26 June 2018 Any disabled person will tell you that when energy is a commodity as precious as Kardashian loyalty, fashion is sadly one of the things that gets sacrificed in day-to-day life. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selma Blair Wants to Create an Accessible Fashion Line for Disabled People After MS Diagnosis," 27 Feb. 2019 But to many Christians, the holiday signifies a turning point for creation, in which Jesus sacrificed his own life to absolve humanity of their sins. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "When Is Good Friday? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 13 Feb. 2019 Thanks to a closetful of easy but chic dresses and a drawer full of tights, my outfit planning is easy—and doesn't sacrifice personal style for comfort. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "15 Winter Dresses on Sale for When You’re Lazy and Cold," 8 Feb. 2019 So, in not sacrificing that human element, Bumblebee is a nostalgic delight that taps into not just the 1980s but youth in general. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Bumblebee is basically E.T., but with a Transformer. It’s delightful!," 18 Dec. 2018 Canadian opposition politicians have accused the prime minister, Doug Ford, of sacrificing Mr Fu in a bid to secure a controversial agreement opening Canada’s Arctic waters to Chinese oil tankers and other shipping, as sea-ice retreats. The Economist, "Xi’s world order: July 2024," 7 July 2018 The worst thing their parents can do isn’t sacrificing children to an alien overlord. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 2 of Runaways forges a bold new path — eventually," 21 Dec. 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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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 How to pronounce sacrifice (audio) \

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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