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
For more sympathetic writers, the temptation is to elevate the men who were lost during those early years into angels or martyrs or saints.HBO Max’s Bold, Witty and Wrenching AIDS Drama It’s a Sin Is the First Must-See Show of 2021 | Judy Berman | February 18, 2021 | Time
There’s some promise in that tension between the kind of feminist icon America wants her to be—a perfect combination of hero and martyr—and the tougher, more private person she appears to be in reality.CBS' Silence of the Lambs Sequel Clarice Robs a Unique Franchise of Its Personality | Judy Berman | February 11, 2021 | Time
This woman will be used as a martyr figure to inspire others to radicalize towards violence.'Our First Martyr.' How Ashli Babbitt Is Being Turned Into a Far-Right Recruiting Tool | Vera Bergengruen | January 10, 2021 | Time
Is the Pentecostal Jim Casy a stand-in for another martyred J.C.?
We certainly have no evidence that they were all martyred for their faith.
Now the Palestinian people had proof that their flawed icon was indeed martyred.Radioactive Revelations Raise the Question: Who Killed Arafat? | Maysoon Zayid | November 8, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the wake of 26/11, Scott-Clark and Levy report, the ISI perpetuated the lie that the ten gunmen had been martyred in Kashmir.
Because he has expressed the desire to be martyred, military justice ought to deny him that wish.The Army Life, Mundane and Hideously Violent, by Turns | Brian Van Reet | August 29, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
These letters were written when the aged prisoner was ready to be martyred, and the time of his departure was at hand.Gospel Philosophy | J. H. Ward
The church of Smyrna celebrated the anniversary of their martyred bishops passion with joy and gladness as his natal day.The Catacombs of Rome | William Henry Withrow
Lest you be martyred slaves of Time, intoxicate yourselves, be drunken without cease!Charles Baudelaire, His Life | Thophile Gautier
Dear Mother, by thy heart then so cruelly martyred, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.Mary, Help of Christians | Various
The church we have here to describe is dedicated to those English Catholics who, in the stormy days of persecution, were martyred.Our Churches and Chapels | Atticus
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