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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sacrifice

Verb

sacrificer noun

Synonyms for sacrifice

Synonyms: Noun

immolation, offering, victim

Synonyms: Verb

immolate, offer

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But another reason, just as surely, is that many of us don’t want to have to make the challenging sacrifices—personal, political, and economic—to address the problem. Adam Mcgibbon, The New Republic, "There Is No Quick Fix for Climate Change," 11 June 2018 In his keynote address, American Legion Post 13 Commander Ronald Coderre spoke about four local men who made that ultimate sacrifice. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Memorial Day Parade Honors Fallen Military," 4 June 2018 His sacrifice to allow these young guys to play and develop and in working with them. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Veteran Al Jefferson: Lack of experience catches up with Pacers but better things to come," 30 Apr. 2018 Unsurprisingly, red is associated with sacrifice, blood, martyrdom, and fire. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "The Surprising Meaning Behind Easter Colors," 22 Mar. 2019 The film talks about the relationship between mothers and daughters and the sacrifice that women make for each other. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Let the Poet Warsan Shire Tell You About the "Bravest Girl in the World"," 8 Mar. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

How to combine strength and balance without sacrificing results Some level of instability in strength training can definitely be beneficial and work your muscles in slightly different ways. SELF, "How to Make Sure Instability Exercises Aren’t Working Against You," 17 May 2019 Salsa Warroad Carbon Force 1 650 Best for: Riders looking for a gravel bike that's lively on the road Salsa developed the Warroad to appeal to riders who want something a little aggressive without sacrificing comfort. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Road Bikes for Every Cyclist," 8 May 2019 To maximize taste without sacrificing on nutrition, flavor with extra virgin olive oil, herbs, spices, and sea salt. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How Healthy Is Chickpea Pasta? A Dietitian Weighs In on Nutrition and Weight-Loss Benefits," 25 Mar. 2019 If MakerBot could get the price low enough to appeal to consumers, without sacrificing print quality and user-friendliness, Goshen says that might change. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "MakerBot’s new 3D printer shows how much it’s changed in nine years," 11 Dec. 2018 But while competitors seem content to sacrifice their bottom lines in the fight... Laura Forman, WSJ, "Grubhub Won’t Fizzle as Competitors Sizzle," 26 Apr. 2019 What could cause a billionaire to sacrifice that much money? Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Billion Dollar Divorces: What Happens When the Super Wealthy Risk Everything for Love on the Down-Low," 10 Apr. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sacrifice

What made you want to look up sacrifice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!