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


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 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

Other Words from sacrifice


sacrificer noun

Synonyms for sacrifice

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Verrado responded with two runs in the fifth on sacrifice flies from Brendan Killeen and Garrett Hicks. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2022 Using a miserly one gallon per flush, the VorMax is among the most water-efficient toilets on the market, without any sacrifice in flushing power of both solid and liquid waste, based on our testing. Dan Diclerico, Good Housekeeping, 17 May 2022 The sacrifice is obvious: the Foamy weighs 11 pounds. The Editors, Outside Online, 21 Apr. 2022 That sacrifice is far less dramatic than that of international oil and gas companies. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Mar. 2022 God offered himself in place of men, Abraham taught them, and that sacrifice was sufficient. Andrew Doran, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 Those who study the culture have heard grumbling among the populace about whether the sacrifice is worth it. Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2022 What was the sacrifice of creature comforts to the opportunity to fashion an entirely other style of existence? Jamie Hood, Vulture, 15 Dec. 2021 After a sacrifice, Helgeson moved to third on a ground out. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Clary, however, may have developed enough of a friendship with and loyalty to Braunizer to sacrifice his objectivity and misread his interview subject and Schrödinger both. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Until Rabil and his brother Mike decided to break ranks and potentially sacrifice Paul’s decorated career to launch a league of their own (the Premier Lacrosse League). Matt Donnelly, Variety, 12 May 2022 It became perceived as a project of selfish White supremacists and people who desired to sacrifice children. Mary Katharine Ham, CNN, 12 May 2022 And, of course, in the Bible, there’s a story of Abraham attempting to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 May 2022 Steady, affordable coffee delivery without having to sacrifice excitement and flavor? Brittany Natale, SELF, 25 Apr. 2022 Kay Slay refused to sacrifice his integrity for what might have been trendy at the time. Michael Saponara, Billboard, 20 Apr. 2022 A few hundred yards away, on the promontory where Jews and Christians hold that Abraham tried to sacrifice his son Isaac, Professor Abu Sway, the Islamic theologian, was in his element. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2022 Described that customers are unwilling to sacrifice quality for sustainability. Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of sacrifice


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for sacrifice


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

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Time Traveler for sacrifice

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sacrifice



sacrifice bunt

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Statistics for sacrifice

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sacrifice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sacrifice


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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on sacrifice

Nglish: Translation of sacrifice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sacrifice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sacrifice


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