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

For a professional athlete, especially one staring at free agency in three weeks, there is no greater sacrifice than putting one’s body in harm’s way. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "How Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury affects his future and the NBA landscape," 11 June 2019 For a professional athlete, especially one staring at free agency in three weeks, there is no greater sacrifice than putting one's body in harm's way. Ben Golliver, courant.com, "How Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury affects his future and the NBA landscape," 11 June 2019 But their sacrifices mattered: The Resistance grew steadily as the war began to turn in the Allies’ favor. Sonia Purnell, Twin Cities, "Sonia Purnell: What D-Day teaches us about the difficulty – and importance – of resistance," 6 June 2019 For many women and womb-owners, pregnancy is a beautiful, deeply rewarding experience, in spite of or even because of its physical sacrifices. Liv Mcconnell, Teen Vogue, "I Was 21 The First Time I Asked to Have My Tubes Tied," 19 Apr. 2019 Baby Teeth unfortunately becomes a sacrifice of the Gryphons and Gargoyles game. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Every "Riverdale" Character That's Been Killed Off," 10 May 2019 Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation Sunday as secretary of Homeland Security is best understood as a ritual sacrifice for the failures of the American political system on immigration. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Thankless Duty at Homeland Security," 7 Apr. 2019 Brett Harris and Daniel Fredrickson started the ninth with singles and were advanced on a sacrifice before Johnston’s heroics. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Nick Kahle powers Huskies to a series sweep of USC, winning 3-2 thriller with a single in the 10th," 24 Mar. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

My mother, who sacrificed her entire youth for me, has many dreams and heights to conquer. Gokul Sreedhar, Quartz India, "I wished my mother well on her second marriage," 12 June 2019 This annual 90-minute broadcast brings together Hollywood's biggest names, military families, and veterans to honor the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How 'Forrest Gump' Inspired Gary Sinise to Get Involved With Veterans," 26 May 2019 The future king, however, is not quite so prepared to sacrifice for Buckingham Palace. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Prince Charles and Other Royal Family Members Secretly Dislike Buckingham Palace," 27 Jan. 2019 There always will be room in San Antonio for the man who arrived as a teenager and left as a legend, who sacrificed fame without quashing his ambition, and who realized that just because a man is third does not mean he can’t be darn proud of it. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Parker’s pride drove Spurs until the end," 6 July 2018 Murray, who deftly reflects the five decade aging of Mary, does much of the heavy lifting as the daughter who sacrifices much to Bessie's restrictions. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Mother, daughter team in drama 'From Door to Door'," 6 June 2018 For blending in personalties and getting his high-profile players to produce and sacrifice for the good of the team, Andre Chevalier has been selected The Times' boys' basketball coach of the year. Eric Sondheimer, latimes.com, "The Times' boys' basketball coach of the year: Andre Chevalier," 8 Apr. 2018 By avoiding brick and mortar locations (for now, though there are plans to establish several in the future) and selling direct to consumer, his aim is to keep prices as low as possible without sacrificing the quality. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Luxury Designer Ben Soleimani's New Furniture Line is Direct to Consumer," 24 May 2019 Yet in its own way her impulse to pack up and show elsewhere isn’t so different from many others: Do something global without sacrificing a sense of experience and intimacy. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Melanie Press Is the Small British Label That’s Thinking Big With an NYC Pop-Up," 2 May 2019

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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