self-im·​mo·​la·​tion ˌself-ˌi-mə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce self-immolation (audio)
: a deliberate and willing sacrifice of oneself often by fire
self-immolate verb

Examples of self-immolation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This isn't the first self-immolation to seize headlines this year. Phillip M. Bailey, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2024 Through self-immolation, Bushnell made a desperate plea: Don’t be complicit in genocide, act now. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 22 Mar. 2024 This effort has included the suggestion that, on top of being supremely noble, self-immolation is also a conventional form of political protest, ... Becket Adams, National Review, 3 Mar. 2024 In the past few years, self-immolation has reëmerged as a form of protest in Putin’s Russia. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2024 Sunday's incident appears to be the second instance of self-immolation in response to the war. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2024 Within Arab circles, especially, the symbolism of a self-immolation is potent: a Tunisian fruit vendor who burned himself to death in 2011 set off pro-democracy rebellions that toppled dictators and upended the Middle East. Hannah Allam, Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2024 Palach’s self-immolation in 1969 protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that ended the blossoming is lore in our people’s history. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2024 The lasting social-media imprint of 2023 may not be the self-immolation of Twitter but rather that short-form videos—on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms—have tightened their choke hold on the internet. Caroline Mimbs Nyce, The Atlantic, 21 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-immolation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-immolation was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near self-immolation

Cite this Entry

“Self-immolation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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