Dictionary.com

martyr

[ mahr-ter ]
/ ˈmɑr tər /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: martyr / martyred / martyring on Thesaurus.com

noun
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.
verb (used with object)
to make a martyr of, especially by putting to death.
to torment or torture.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of martyr

before 900; (noun) Middle English marter,Old English martyr<Late Latin <Late Greek mártyr, variant of Greek mártys, mártyros witness; (v.) Middle English martiren,Old English martyrian, derivative of noun

OTHER WORDS FROM martyr

mar·tyr·ish, adjectivemar·tyr·ly, adverb, adjectiveun·mar·tyred, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use martyr in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for martyr

martyr
/ (ˈmɑːtə) /

noun
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
verb Also: 'martyrˌize, 'martyrˌise (tr)
to kill as a martyr
to make a martyr of

Derived forms of martyr

martyrization or martyrisation, noun

Word Origin for martyr

Old English martir, from Church Latin martyr, from Late Greek martur-, martus witness
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
FEEDBACK