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


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 bunt
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

Other Words from sacrifice


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With good kid, Lamar proved that a hip-hop album could still be commercially successful without the sacrifice of impact and vulnerability. Neena Rouhani, Billboard, 10 June 2022 The Guardians are in fifth place in the AL with nine sacrifice bunts entering Saturday’s game against the Tigers. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 16 July 2022 And who will ever forget the sacrifice of two Jewish lives, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, in Mississippi this past June? al, 16 July 2022 There are several options, which all involve some sacrifice. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 15 July 2022 Meanwhile, the women of the MCU's greatest asset seems to be the most stereotypically feminine of traits: sacrifice. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 13 July 2022 The pilgrims threw pebbles at three large pillars that mark the places where the devil tried to interrupt Ibrahim’s sacrifice. Amr Nabil,, 9 July 2022 As a reward for her bravery and sacrifice, Foster was resurrected as one of the Valkyrior, a league of women warriors who defend Asgard. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 7 July 2022 From big wedding celebrations and conversations around the dinner table to mother-daughter tensions and the struggle of family sacrifice, at times Ms. Marvel can feel like being enveloped in a warm hug. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Members sacrifice some control of their schedules, tours gain the ability to deliver elite fields to key sponsors and broadcast partners. Eamon Lynch, USA TODAY, 24 July 2022 Hey, Hoynsie: Why do the Guardians never sacrifice bunt with a man on second with no outs? Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 16 July 2022 That’s why having the perfect portable speaker, that doesn’t sacrifice audio quality, is so important. Anna Tingley, Variety, 12 July 2022 That move, however, would sacrifice hydropower generation. CBS News, 15 June 2022 Detroit's Chapter 9 case was a 17-month battle over who would sacrifice what. Khalil Alhajal, Detroit Free Press, 26 Apr. 2022 Building Zoom was a huge undertaking, and Yuan had to sacrifice time with his family to do it. Joanne Chen, Forbes, 11 July 2022 That dedication means that Xi may have to sacrifice economic growth, another priority before the party congress. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 And that’s because a leak said the Doctor Strange of this world was the one to sacrifice his life to beat Thanos. Chris Smith, BGR, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of sacrifice


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for sacrifice


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin sacrificium, from sacr-, sacer + facere to make — more at do

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Time Traveler for sacrifice

Time Traveler

The first known use of sacrifice was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sacrifice



sacrifice bunt

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Statistics for sacrifice

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sacrifice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sacrifice


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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on sacrifice

Nglish: Translation of sacrifice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sacrifice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sacrifice


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