- a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
- a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
- a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.
- a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.
- to make a martyr of, especially by putting to death.
- to torment or torture.
Origin of martyr
Examples from the Web for martyr
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
November 27, 2014
He informed her that Hamzat had “become a shahid,” a martyr, and he was dead.The Secret Life of an ISIS Warlord
Will Cathcart, Vazha Tavberidze, Nino Burchuladze
October 27, 2014
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
July 21, 2014
“Claiming that moderation in a time of such crisis is no virtue,” the martyr of American Russian studies declared.Meet the Anti-Semites, Truthers, and Alaska Pol at D.C.’s Pro-Putin Soiree
June 17, 2014
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), the House Armed Services Committee chairman, cast Cantor as a martyr for his party.Republicans Panicked After Eric Cantor Loss: ‘This Is Like Robespierre’
Ben Jacobs, Tim Mak
June 11, 2014
The martyr's crown awaits them, for they display the martyr's spirit.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
I must not make a martyr of myself, when I am one of so large a company.'Little Dorrit
I found it in this cell, after the death of the martyr, and have preserved it as a relic.The Black Tulip
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
She had beheld the Virgin, she was the chosen one, the martyr.
At bottom he is simply a martyr who has followed the wrong track.
- 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, etche'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
Word Origin and History for martyr
Old English martyr, from Late Latin martyr, from Doric Greek martyr, earlier martys (genitive martyros) in Christian use "martyr," literally "witness," probably related to mermera "care, trouble," from mermairein "be anxious or thoughtful," from PIE *(s)mrtu- (cf. Sanskrit smarati "remember," Latin memor "mindful;" see memory).
Adopted directly into most Germanic languages, but Norse substituted native formation pislarvattr, literally "torture-witness." General sense of "constant sufferer" is from 1550s. Martyr complex "exaggerated desire for self-sacrifice" is attested from 1920.
Old English martyrian, from martyr (see martyr (n.)). Middle English also had a verb martyrize.