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Definition of "martyr" []

  • One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles. (noun)
  • One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle. (noun)
  • One who endures great suffering: a martyr to arthritis. (noun)
  • One who makes a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy. (noun)
  • To make a martyr of, especially to put to death for devotion to religious beliefs. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "martyr" in a sentence
  • ""Have a care that in being such, you do not become a martyr to love, the _martyr of a woman_.""
  • "But today, we most often hear the word martyr used to describe Islamic radicals who commit unspeakable mass atrocities against innocent people while dementedly chanting “Allahu Akhbar, Allahu Akhbar, Allahu Akhbar” “Allah is greatest” to drown out what little is left of their conscience."
  • "Well, you may think of Jesus and Joan of Arc when you hear the term martyr, but Mademoiselle and her friends are using a stricter definition of the term."