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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The award represents more than 300,000 active-duty firefighters, throughout the United States and Canada, who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, Gilman said. Molly Duerig, azcentral, "‘Heart of a warrior’: Family, firefighters pay tribute to Goodyear fire Engineer Austin Peck," 7 Sep. 2019 These kids make the sacrifice to prepare themselves for every single game. Vincent Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Crescenta Valley football’s offense hits top gear in nonleague win," 5 Sep. 2019 As his showdown with Lord Voldemort nears, Harry may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 There were 1,046 Marylanders who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dayhoff: Stretch of Md. 75 to be dedicated to fallen local hero, Russel Milberry," 16 Aug. 2019 Making small sacrifices can help improve your cash flow. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for Aug. 8, 2019: Leo, love conquers all; Scorpio, focus on home and family," 8 Aug. 2019 The reigning Prince of Prilosec consumed a grand total of 413 chicken wings; in doing so, 206 of the unfortunate birds endured the ultimate sacrifice to satisfy the enormous Chestnut appetite. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: Joey Chestnut: A Silicon Valley legend of a different sort," 7 Aug. 2019 In my experience, most people are willing to make immense sacrifices to keep their children safe and happy. Emily Guendelsberger, Vox, "I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.," 15 July 2019 So, who were these young soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the liberty of future generations? Time, "The Maryland 400 Lost a Battle But Helped Win a War. On the 4th of July, We Should Remember Their Sacrifice," 4 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ibsen depicted female characters who refused to sacrifice themselves. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 Downey’s character was last seen by fans at the end of Avengers: Endgame after Iron Man sacrificed himself in the fight against Thanos. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Is Iron Man Back? Rumors Swirl Robert Downey Jr. Might Return for Black Widow Movie," 16 Sep. 2019 The Guru did not succumb to the physical and mental pressures and sacrificed himself for righteousness on 30 May 1606. Sondeep Sankar, Quartz India, "In photos: A glorious history of Sikhism," 3 Sep. 2019 In order to limit the possibility of this untenable change, and restore whiteness to its former status as a marker of national identity, a number of white Americans are sacrificing themselves. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Missing Toni Morrison: raceAhead," 6 Aug. 2019 The Verlander deal came with little risk, and the assets sacrificed for Syndergaard by Wednesday will certainly exceed the meager haul surrendered for Verlander. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Ranking Noah Syndergaard's Top Landing Spots," 30 July 2019 In one Buddhist tale, a hare that sacrifices itself to feed a hungry priest is honored by its likeness being etched in the moon’s surface for all to see. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Apollo 11 at 50: How the moon landing changed the world," 16 July 2019 The biggest twist in the season finale is Hopper sacrificing himself so that Joyce can blow up the Russian machine, closing the portal and cutting off the Flay-Monster from its energy source, the Upside Down. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Flay your mind: Stranger Things S3 just might be the show’s best season yet," 15 July 2019 El, of course, has her supernatural powers, a fighter’s instinct, as well as the courage to mentally and physically sacrifice herself for her friends. Sophie Hayssen, Teen Vogue, "'Stranger Things' Season 3 Highlights Max and Eleven's Friendship," 12 July 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
How to pronounce sacrifice (audio)

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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