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

The Katy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9182 will hold a 9/11 ceremony to honor those lost on Sept. 11, 2001 and those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice while fighting the War on Terrorism at 10 a.m. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "9/11 memorial set by Katy VFW Post 9182," 6 Sep. 2019 This sacrifice is still a point of pride in Russia today, where it is commemorated, rightly, as a turning point in World War II. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Vasily Grossman’s Lost Epic," 27 Aug. 2019 Despite the sacrifices, the evidence shows no benefits from red-flag laws. Thomas Massie, National Review, "‘Red Flag’ Laws Are the Wrong Solution to Mass Shootings," 12 Aug. 2019 The Kitchen is smart enough not to simply equate female empowerment with crime, but whatever price the characters must pay for their newfound clout, the sacrifice is never truly felt. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Kitchen': Film Review," 7 Aug. 2019 Now, The Sun have revealed what those sacrifices may be, with Griezmann set to pocket £15m-per-year at Camp Nou, less than his previous salary at Atletico. SI.com, "Antoine Griezmann Set for Barcelona Pay Cut Ahead of £107m Move From Atletico Madrid," 30 June 2019 The organization’s guiding belief is that the sacrifices made by families of children with cancer are extraordinary and often overlooked. Greg Hanlon, PEOPLE.com, "'A Day Off From Cancer': Football Fun and Ice Cream at Legendary NFL Coach’s Charity Event," 10 June 2019 The sacrifices were never far from the minds of those participating in the anniversary events Wednesday. San Diego Union-Tribune, "World leaders, local vets pause to remember D-Day, 75 years later," 6 June 2019 Furthermore, Quentin’s ultimate sacrifice was full circle in many ways. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""The Magicians" Finale Just Pulled Off Its Most Heart-wrenching Risk Yet," 18 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the shoreline is retreating and the house has been sacrificed to the waves. David Campany, The New Yorker, "Life in Miami on the Knife’s Edge of Climate Change," 18 Aug. 2019 The song and video mark a more playful turn for Jorja’s music, showcasing her experimentation with more dance-centric beats and flirty lyricism without sacrificing her velvety voice and tone. Bianca Betancourt, Teen Vogue, "Jorja Smith Cruises Through the Stages of Summer in Her “Be Honest” Music Video," 16 Aug. 2019 This matte formula will eliminate shine without sacrificing your skin's glow. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Best Drugstore Foundations For Oily Skin," 30 July 2019 As the price of electricity continues to rise, homeowners are looking for ways to cut energy costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Is Going Solar Right for You?," 27 July 2019 Birds, of course, love all sweet cherries, so be prepared to sacrifice part of the crop to them; insects and disease will likewise take their toll. Washington Post, "There are many types of sweet or tart cherries you can grow," 2 July 2019 Over the past year, Sipsmith has seen more than 300% growth in the U.S. market alone The challenge moving forward will be to continue developing without sacrificing its identity and quality. Alyson Krueger, Town & Country, "Sipsmith Gin is the Only Gin Served in the House of Commons," 2 July 2019 Its compact design maximizes every inch, accommodating four people and resulting in a surprisingly open feel (without sacrificing storage). Kate Rockwood, Woman's Day, "How to Make the Most of Your Next Family Adventure," 25 June 2019 Sometimes the first has to be sacrificed to the latter. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "What to Look For on the Candidates at Tonight’s Debate," 24 June 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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