Origin of mortification
synonym study for mortification
OTHER WORDS FROM mortificationpre·mor·ti·fi·ca·tion, noun
Words nearby mortification
What does mortification mean?
Mortification is a feeling of humiliation or extreme embarrassment.
You know when you do something so unbearably embarrassing that you just want to shrivel up and die? That’s the feeling of mortification. Which is fitting because the word comes from a root meaning “death.”
In other words, mortification is the state of being mortified—humiliated or extremely embarrassed. Things that are humiliating or extremely embarrassing can be described as mortifying.
Both mortify and mortification also have meanings that relate to literal death. In medical terms, mortification refers to the death of one part of the body while the rest of the body is alive. This is more technically called gangrene or necrosis.
Mortification is also used (less commonly) in a religious context, in which it refers to the ascetic practice of self-discipline with the goal of strengthening one’s will and overcoming the desire to sin. In Christianity, forms of mortification include things like fasting. In some extreme cases, especially in older times, it has included things like self-flagellation—whipping oneself.
Example: I can’t even express the sense of mortification I felt when I forgot every single word of my speech and then tripped while trying to run away.
Where does mortification come from?
The first records of the word mortification come from the second half of the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Late Latin verb mortificāre, meaning “to put to death,” from Latin mors, “death,” and the verb facere, “to do.” Mors is the root of many other death-related words, like mortal.
In a literal sense, mortification refers to tissue death—the death of a localized area of the body, such as due to a lack of blood supply to that part. This is never a good thing, so you can see why it’s used as a metaphor for extreme embarrassment—the kind when you feel like you’ll die from it. Some people experience this more easily than others. One person might feel mortification for something as simple as accidentally wearing mismatched socks. For most people, though, it comes with more extreme situations, like picking your nose on a video call when you think your video is off.
The most common ways to describe such a feeling is probably with the adjectives mortified (applied to a person) and mortifying (applied to the situation).
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms of mortification?
- mortify (verb)
What are some synonyms for mortification?
What are some words that share a root or word element with mortification?
What are some words that often get used in discussing mortification?
How is mortification used in real life?
Just accidentally liked my own comment in the chat during a Teams meeting, so I now need to retire out of mortification.
— James Lee (@jamessflee) July 3, 2020
There is no mortification like being a 14 year old boy who gets called ma’am at the McDonalds drive through.
— ❤️Jar Jar Drinks🤙 (@GuyBreakup) July 1, 2020
for personal reasons i will be passing away due to embarrassment and mortification thank you
— jade⁷ ♡'s ryu ! (@AGUSTDDUDU) July 4, 2020
Try using mortification!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of mortification?
How to use mortification in a sentence
At a high school basketball game, for example, she will VERY loudly criticize a player, to the mortification of those sitting next to her.Carolyn Hax: He’s a great guy, except for the bigotry|Carolyn Hax|December 11, 2020|Washington Post
“Hey, muffins,” he calls to his children, with a “wince of mortification” at the whole scene.
Bernard sat thinking for a long time; at first with a good deal of mortification—at last with a good deal of bitterness.Confidence|Henry James
On the other hand, his feet are so cold from the artery being severed that they anticipate mortification.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
Two years before her death Mrs. Otis was glad to bury her mortification and misery in Rosewater.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
A short triumph will be followed by a deep mortification, and the selfishness of their aims defeats itself.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness|Florence Hartley
We might as well run a hospital on the plan of never consenting to admit any case until mortification had set in!English Poor Law Policy|Sidney Webb