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[mawr-tuh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌmɔr tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
a feeling of humiliation or shame, as through some injury to one's pride or self-respect.
a cause or source of such humiliation or shame.
the practice of asceticism by penitential discipline to overcome desire for sin and to strengthen the will.
Pathology. the death of one part of the body while the rest is alive; gangrene; necrosis.
Origin of mortification
1350-1400; Middle English mortificacion < Late Latin mortificātiōn- (stem of mortificātiō), equivalent to morti- (see mortify) + -ficatiōn- -fication
Related forms
premortification, noun
1. See shame. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mortification
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But, to my mortification and surprise, you persisted, and still persist.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But go on, Miss: your mortification will be the greater; that's all, child.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • "Never," said Almeria, with a sudden feeling of mortification.

  • Belinda assured her that she felt no mortification from the disappointment.

  • He had never been sent to school, lest he should meet with mortification.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It was thought that shame and mortification at his failure had driven him away for ever.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • I laid down the letter, and, full of mortification, went walking about the room.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • He looked back upon the scene with mortification and astonishment.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Others have sought in agony and mortification of mind the vision which was denied them.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
British Dictionary definitions for mortification


a feeling of loss of prestige or self-respect; humiliation
something causing this
(Christianity) the practice of mortifying the senses
another word for gangrene
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mortification

late 14c., "mortifying the flesh, suppression of bodily desires," from Late Latin mortificationem (nominative mortificatio) "a killing, putting to death," from past participle stem of mortificare (see mortify). Sense of "feeling of humiliation" first recorded 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mortification in Medicine

mortification mor·ti·fi·ca·tion (môr'tə-fĭ-kā'shən)
Death or decay of one part of a living body; gangrene; necrosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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