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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sacrificed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Victims were sacrificed, and the omens declared not unpropitious.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • I beg, that I may not be sacrificed to projects, and remote contingencies.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • You must, you will, I doubt, be sacrificed to this odious man.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • When must our Sunday's rest and our attendance at church be sacrificed?

  • She must not be sacrificed to policy or ambition, and she must not be left to suffer from the dread of it.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
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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