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[sak-ruh-fahys] /ˈsæk rəˌfaɪs/
the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.
the person, animal, or thing so offered.
the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
the thing so surrendered or devoted.
a loss incurred in selling something below its value.
Also called sacrifice bunt, sacrifice hit. Baseball. a bunt made when there are fewer than two players out, not resulting in a double play, that advances the base runner nearest home without an error being committed if there is an attempt to put the runner out, and that results in either the batter's being put out at first base, reaching first on an error made in the attempt for the put-out, or being safe because of an attempt to put out another runner.
verb (used with object), sacrificed, sacrificing.
to make a sacrifice or offering of.
to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.
to dispose of (goods, property, etc.) regardless of profit.
Baseball. to cause the advance of (a base runner) by a sacrifice.
verb (used without object), sacrificed, sacrificing.
Baseball. to make a sacrifice:
He sacrificed with two on and none out.
to offer or make a sacrifice.
Origin of sacrifice
1225-75; (noun) Middle English < Old French < Latin sacrificium, equivalent to sacri- (combining form of sacer holy) + -fic-, combining form of facere to make, do1 + -ium -ium; (v.) Middle English sacrifisen, derivative of the noun
Related forms
sacrificeable, adjective
sacrificer, noun
nonsacrifice, noun
nonsacrificing, adjective
presacrifice, noun, verb, presacrificed, presacrificing.
supersacrifice, noun, verb (used with object), supersacrificed, supersacrificing.
unsacrificeable, adjective
unsacrificed, adjective
unsacrificing, adjective
well-sacrificed, adjective
8. relinquish, forgo, renounce. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sacrificed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was sacrificed in 1880 to the necessity of raising a fortress on the hill.

    Pagan and Christian Rome Rodolfo Lanciani
  • The children to be sacrificed were selected by lot from those who were liable.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • He had not sacrificed his indulgences without being quite sure of what he wanted in exchange.

    A Young Man's Year Anthony Hope
  • She would have sacrificed herself for you—she offered to do so.

    Princess Zara Ross Beeckman
  • In all things he looked only to himself, and to this egotism he sacrificed both subjects and Governments.

    Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
British Dictionary definitions for sacrificed


a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil
a ritual killing of a person or animal with the intention of propitiating or pleasing a deity
a symbolic offering of something to a deity
the person, animal, or object surrendered, destroyed, killed, or offered
a religious ceremony involving one or more sacrifices
loss entailed by giving up or selling something at less than its value
(chess) the act or an instance of sacrificing a piece
to make a sacrifice (of); give up, surrender, or destroy (a person, thing, etc)
(chess) to permit or force one's opponent to capture (a piece) freely, as in playing a combination or gambit: he sacrificed his queen and checkmated his opponent on the next move
Derived Forms
sacrificeable, adjective
sacrificer, noun
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin sacrificium, from sacer holy + facere to make
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 sacrificed



late 13c., "offering of something (especially a life) to a deity as an act of propitiation or homage;" mid-14c., "that which is offered in sacrifice," from Old French sacrifise "sacrifice, offering" (12c.), from Latin sacrificium, from sacrificus "performing priestly functions or sacrifices," from sacra "sacred rites" (properly neuter plural of sacer "sacred;" see sacred) + root of facere "to do, perform" (see factitious).

Latin sacrificium is glossed in Old English by ansegdniss. Sense of "act of giving up one thing for another; something given up for the sake of another" is first recorded 1590s. Baseball sense first attested 1880.


c.1300, "to offer something (to a deity, as a sacrifice)," from sacrifice (n.). Meaning "surrender, give up, suffer to be lost" is from 1706. Related: Sacrificed; sacrificing. Agent noun forms include sacrificer, sacrificator (both 16c., the latter from Latin); and sacrificulist (17c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sacrificed in the Bible

The offering up of sacrifices is to be regarded as a divine institution. It did not originate with man. God himself appointed it as the mode in which acceptable worship was to be offered to him by guilty man. The language and the idea of sacrifice pervade the whole Bible. Sacrifices were offered in the ante-diluvian age. The Lord clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of animals, which in all probability had been offered in sacrifice (Gen. 3:21). Abel offered a sacrifice "of the firstlings of his flock" (4:4; Heb. 11:4). A distinction also was made between clean and unclean animals, which there is every reason to believe had reference to the offering up of sacrifices (Gen. 7:2, 8), because animals were not given to man as food till after the Flood. The same practice is continued down through the patriarchal age (Gen. 8:20; 12:7; 13:4, 18; 15:9-11; 22:1-18, etc.). In the Mosaic period of Old Testament history definite laws were prescribed by God regarding the different kinds of sacrifices that were to be offered and the manner in which the offering was to be made. The offering of stated sacrifices became indeed a prominent and distinctive feature of the whole period (Ex. 12:3-27; Lev. 23:5-8; Num. 9:2-14). (See ALTAR.) We learn from the Epistle to the Hebrews that sacrifices had in themselves no value or efficacy. They were only the "shadow of good things to come," and pointed the worshippers forward to the coming of the great High Priest, who, in the fullness of the time, "was offered once for all to bear the sin of many." Sacrifices belonged to a temporary economy, to a system of types and emblems which served their purposes and have now passed away. The "one sacrifice for sins" hath "perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Sacrifices were of two kinds: 1. Unbloody, such as (1) first-fruits and tithes; (2) meat and drink-offerings; and (3) incense. 2. Bloody, such as (1) burnt-offerings; (2) peace-offerings; and (3) sin and trespass offerings. (See OFFERINGS.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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