a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce their religion.
a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: Her death has made her a martyr to the cause of social justice.
a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: The patient was a martyr to severe headaches.
a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.
to persecute for supporting a belief or cause, especially by putting to death.
to torment or torture.
- mar·tyr·ish, adjective
- mar·tyr·ly, adverb, adjective
- un·mar·tyred, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use martyr in a sentence
In death, Babbitt has become a martyr to many on the far right.U.S. Capitol Police officer cleared of wrongdoing in fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt during Capitol attack | Keith L. Alexander, Justin Jouvenal, Spencer Hsu | April 15, 2021 | Washington Post
Since the fatal shooting, Lemp has become a martyr among anti-government extremists around the country.Body-cam video in fatal Duncan Lemp raid confirms police did not record shooting | Dan Morse | January 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Those were individuals who were just trying to live, not trying to be martyrs or tokens for political platforms or politicians.The way we express grief for strangers is changing | Tanya Basu | December 3, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
The gains of the civil rights era, earned through mass protest and the blood of martyrs, again prompted a conservative backlash.This year’s elections will decide whether America witnesses a third Reconstruction | David Love | October 29, 2020 | Washington Post
Another thing I think is really important is that right now we expect people to be sort of martyrs if they enter into government service and then they turn around and become lobbyists to make a lot of money.Why Is This Man Running for President? (Ep. 362 Update) | Stephen J. Dubner | December 19, 2019 | Freakonomics
Conservative Muslim women in Turkey hailed Esme as a martyr and a symbol of female strength and resistance.Allah, Mom, and Baklava: Turkish President Uses Mothers and Kids as Political Pawns | Xanthe Ackerman | November 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Protestors chanted “with our blood and our souls, we will avenge you, oh martyr.”A New Intifada? Israel’s Arab Citizen Uprising Spreads | Creede Newton | November 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He informed her that Hamzat had “become a shahid,” a martyr, and he was dead.
“Haters gonna hate” makes the person who says it into an automatic martyr, persecuted, misunderstood, maligned.
With that, writes historian Edward Larson, “The fundamentalist movement acquired a martyr.”The Scopes Monkey Trial 2.0: It’s Not About the Stupid Science-Deniers | Michael Schulson | July 21, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Joan Boughton, a widow, was burned for heresy; said to be the first female martyr of England.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
It would not take two minutes to convert him from the inquisitor to the martyr at the stake.Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline | Jennie M. Drinkwater
Mrs. Stone's children were notoriously healthy, but she was of the stuff of which the modern martyr is made.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
To his bourgeois mind, for all his imitation of the Chicago martyr, my words must have sounded knavish.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
The martyr thanked him for his kindness, and promised to pray for him when she came into God's presence.Mary, Help of Christians | Various
British Dictionary definitions for martyr
a person who suffers death rather than renounce his religious beliefs
a person who suffers greatly or dies for a cause, belief, etc
a person who suffers from poor health, misfortune, etc: he's a martyr to rheumatism
facetious, or derogatory a person who feigns suffering to gain sympathy, help, etc
to kill as a martyr
to make a martyr of
- martyrization or martyrisation, noun
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