sac·​ri·​fi·​cial | \ˌsa-krə-ˈfi-shəl \

Definition of sacrificial 

1 : of, relating to, of the nature of, or involving sacrifice

2 : of or relating to a metal that serves as an anode which is electrolytically consumed instead of another metal that is present

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sacrificial

sacrificially \ ˌsa-​krə-​ˈfi-​shə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of sacrificial in a Sentence

their sacrificial acts of self-denial

Recent Examples on the Web

Folded stacks of colorful fabrics line the vestibule walls between tribal dancers’ masks and the lustrous sculpture of an ancient tumi ax used in the sacrificial ceremonies. Craig Laban,, "At Vista Peru, a view of promise, pisco and problems," 18 May 2018 And sacrificial victims earned a special, honored place in the afterlife. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives. Cnn Staff, CNN, "Bishop Michael Curry's sermon -- the full text," 19 May 2018 However, our sacrificial toilet from the hardware store fared excellently when coated with the stuff. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Internet-demanded, partially scientific testing of Ultra-Ever Dry (in HD!)," 4 July 2018 The emphasis on the Mass’ sacrificial character continued until the Second Vatican Council in 1962-5, which sought to restore the sense of banquet as well. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "The Battle Over Who Can Take Communion," 29 June 2018 Imagine this tired old world when love is the way, unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive. Luke Darby, GQ, "Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon Stole the Show at the Royal Wedding," 19 May 2018 Finally, Rambam echoes the Gemara, which states that Ezra designed the prayer service to correspond to the standard sacrificial service offered in the Temple. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "Why do we pray with a set text?," 2 July 2018 Death, however, was just the start of the victim's role in the sacrificial ritual, key to the spiritual world of the Mexica people in the 14th to the 16th centuries. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sacrificial.' 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 sacrificial

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sacrificial

Share sacrificial

Statistics for sacrificial

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sacrificial

The first known use of sacrificial was in 1607

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sacrificial



English Language Learners Definition of sacrificial

: of, relating to, or involving sacrifice

More from Merriam-Webster on sacrificial

See words that rhyme with sacrificial

Comments on sacrificial

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


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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