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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[self-mawr-tuh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˈsɛlfˌmɔr tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
the inflicting of pain or privation on oneself:
He was certain that self-mortification was the only road to salvation.
Origin of self-mortification
First recorded in 1815-25
Related forms
[self-mawr-tuh-fahyd, self-] /ˌsɛlfˈmɔr təˌfaɪd, ˈsɛlf-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for self-mortification
Historical Examples
  • I do not bid you do aught of this for self-mortification's sake, but that you may derive some after-blessing from it.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • Prayer and self-mortification were the pleasures of his youth.

  • In company with other monks, Siddhattha sought for a while enlightenment by self-mortification.

    The Buddha Paul Carus
  • It exhibited little of the appearance of a life of penance and self-mortification.

    Mexico and its Religion Robert A. Wilson
  • And he led him to turn for comfort, not to penance and self-mortification, but to his own Word.

    The Spanish Brothers Deborah Alcock
  • There he passed years of labour, study, and self-mortification.

  • In 479 Barnadatus, a Syrian monk, devised some new ways of self-mortification.

  • Is self-mortification necessary for the attainment of wisdom?

    The Browning Cyclopdia Edward Berdoe
  • This, by day and by night, she cried to herself, in her agony of self-mortification.

    Istar of Babylon Margaret Horton Potter
  • Often they were ascetics and addicted to extreme forms of self-mortification.

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